Former Cape municipal judge dies

Friday, January 23, 2004

Judge Edward Eugene Calvin, a lawyer who served as municipal judge in Cape Girardeau in the 1980s and 1990s, died Thursday at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. He was 73.

Calvin, a Democrat, was named municipal court judge in 1982 after working as a lawyer in the city for nearly a decade. He retired as municipal court judge in 1998. He ran unsuccessfully for associate circuit judge in 1990.

Calvin was admitted to the Missouri Bar in 1956 after graduating with a law degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

He had a law practice in Poplar Bluff, Mo., prior to moving to Cape Girardeau.

Calvin was known as a tough judge. "He was very tough," said former Cape Girardeau Mayor Al Spradling III, who represented clients before Calvin for years before becoming a councilman and then mayor.

"He had a policy on certain types of cases. Whether it was your first or fourth offense, you were going to jail," Spradling said.

He was particularly tough on shoplifters, the former mayor said.

But he thought Calvin was very fair, saying, "You knew exactly where he stood."

Calvin was a former deacon and elder in the First Presbyterian Church. He also was on the board of the Salvation Army and held leadership positions in the Kiwanis Club. He was an original member of the Cape Girardeau Charter Commission.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara, sons Gregory Edward Calvin of Nashville, Tenn., and Whitney Nichols Calvin of Jackson. A daughter, Lt. Cmdr. Jennifer Helen Calvin, is stationed with the U.S. Navy in Bremerton, Wash. A sister, Mildred Ruth Scales, lives in Albia, Iowa.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete.

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