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Howard J. Moraghan, 82, was a prominent judge

Updated 9:39 pm, Wednesday, November 28, 2012
  • Judge Howard J. Moraghan, 82, of New Milford died Nov. 27, 2012 Photo: Contributed Photo
    Judge Howard J. Moraghan, 82, of New Milford died Nov. 27, 2012 Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Howard J. Moraghan died Nov. 26 at his home in New Milford.

He was born Aug. 28, 1930, in New Haven, the only son of the late Harry A. and Florence M. Moraghan, of New Haven.

He was the husband of Linda Piascik Moraghan. He was predeceased by his first wife, Nancy Shanahan Moraghan.

Judge Moraghan grew up in Litchfield, attended public schools and graduated from Litchfield High School. Thereafter, he matriculated to the College of Holy Cross.

Upon graduation, he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy and served on the USS Loeser during the Korean War. He was released from active duty as a gunnery and anti-submarine warfare officer in 1954.

Upon his release, he entered Boston College Law School, graduating in 1957. That same year, he was admitted to practice and began his practice with attorney Robert L. Sullivan in New Milford.

In 1958 he joined in partnership with Judge of Probate Harry B. Bradbury.

In 1961 he was named an assistant prosecuting attorney in the newly constituted Circuit Court. In 1967, he was named prosecuting attorney in that court.

In 1969 he was appointed to the Circuit Court bench, where he served until 1975, when he became a judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

In 1978, upon the merger of the courts, Judge Moraghan was named to the Superior Court, where he sat until 2000, when he retired and became a judge trial referee.

His career on the bench spanned some 43 years.

Judge Moraghan was the first administrative judge of the Judicial District of Danbury for 11 years and a member of the Judicial Review Counsel for 16 years, respectively.

In September of 1969, he was recognized by the Mid-Western Connecticut Council on Alcoholism for his efforts with those afflicted with that illness.

He served on a panel to resolve both state and federal court claims involving probate Judge Richard Nahley.

Judge Moraghan was recognized with one of three other individuals for their participation in the Nahley Mediation Panel by the Connecticut Probate Assembly.

During his lifetime, he was a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, the Litchfield County Bar Association, the Danbury Bar Association, the Connecticut Judges Association, the U.S. Naval Reserve, a parishioner of St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of the Lakes parishes and a trustee of both.

Judge Moraghan served on the board for New Milford boys' baseball, was a member of the Newtown Country Club, the New Milford Civitan Club and the Knights of Columbus.

He is survived by his wife Linda, his three sons: Paul Francis Moraghan, of Fair Oak, Mich., David Anthony Moraghan and his wife, Diane, of Torrington; and retired Lt. Col. Kevin Patrick Moraghan, of Thailand.

He is also survived by his grandson, Timothy Patrick Moraghan, a senior at Georgetown University, and his granddaughter, Jennifer Ann Marola, a doctoral candidate at Illinois Institute of Technology, as well as several cousins.

To those who knew Judge Moraghan, his love for his family, God, his country, the law and being Irish was apparent. His stern and serious demeanor was a cover for his sharp wit, warmth and keen interest for those before him.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of the Lakes Chapel, 3 Old Town Road in New Milford.

Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery.

The family will receive friends Sunday, Dec. 2, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge St. in New Milford.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Our Lady of the Lakes Chapel, 3 Old Town Park Road, New Milford CT 06776; New Milford Visiting Nurse Association, 68 Park Lane Rd., New Milford CT 06776; or Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue, 110 Chapin Road, Hudson MA 01749.