Politics & Government

Justice Wil Schroder retires from Ky. Supreme Court to deal with brain tumor

Wil Schroder
Wil Schroder

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Wil Schroder of Fort Mitchell is retiring after more than 29 years of judicial service to deal with a brain tumor.

The state's highest court announced the retirement and his medical condition Thursday in a one-page news release.

"I am very sorry to learn of the retirement of my colleague and dear friend Wil Schroder," Kentucky Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. said in a prepared statement. "Wil is highly ethical and is known for standing by his convictions.

"He brought a sharp intellect and meticulous approach to his work on the Supreme Court. He felt obligated every day to work hard on behalf of the people in his district and the state. The Supreme Court will not be the same without him."

Gov. Steve Beshear is to appoint someone to replace Schroder for the remainder of his term on the bench that runs through Jan. 1, 2015.

Schroder, 66, was elected to the Supreme Court in November 2006 to serve the 6th Supreme Court District, a 21-county district.

Prior to his election to the Supreme Court, he served on the Kentucky Court of Appeals from 1991 to 2006 and as a trial judge on the Kenton District Court from 1983 to 1991, which included one year as a juvenile judge.

The news release said Schroder "is honored to have served on the judiciary and feels the deepest gratitude to the citizens of Kentucky who, by electing him, have fostered his life-long career in public service."

Schroder earned his bachelor's degree in 1968 and his doctorate in 1970 from the University of Kentucky. He also earned an advanced law degree in 1971 from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He was admitted to the Kentucky Bar in 1970, the Missouri Bar in 1972 and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1974.

While a student in Missouri, Schroder worked as an attorney for the Kansas City Legal Aid Society and as a corporate attorney for the St. Paul Insurance Co. Upon returning to Kentucky, he became an assistant law professor at Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law from 1972 to 1975.

Schroder was in private practice from 1975 to 1983 in Covington with his brother, Robert. He also served as a hearing officer for the Kentucky Personnel Board and was city attorney for Newport from 1982 to 1983.

Schroder was born in Fort Mitchell in 1946. He and his wife, Susan Walhbrink Schroder, have two daughters, Stephanie and Lydia, and a son, Wil.