A former district court judge in Hancock and Waldo counties has died.
Bernard Staples died Thursday night, according to the spokesperson for the Maine Administrative Office of the Courts.
Staples, who lived in Hulls Cove, served on the bench for 21 years in Belfast, Bar Harbor and Ellsworth before retiring three years ago.
That’s when he started studying to be a minister.
Much of Staples’ work as a judge dealt with family issues including divorce, child custody and child protective services.
In a statement, Maine Supreme Court Chief Justice Leigh Saufley said Judge Staples “was a kind and compassionate presence on the bench in Ellsworth, and it was no accident that when he retired it was to attend a seminary school to follow a different calling to continue to serve others. He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know and work with him.”