(Senate - December 09, 2003)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages S16091-S16092]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                          JUDGE WILLIAM AMMER

  Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, I would like to pay tribute here on the 
floor of the U.S. Senate to a dear friend, a gracious man, and a 
wonderful human being. That man is former Pickaway County, OH, Common 
Pleas Judge William Ammer. Judge Ammer, of Circleville, Ohio, passed 
away January 30, 2003 at the age of 83.
  William Ammer was born on May 21, 1919, to Moses and Mary Ammer. He 
graduated from Circleville High School in 1937, and then went on to 
receive a business degree from the Ohio State University. After serving 
in the U.S. Army for 3 years during World War II, he returned to Ohio 
State to get his law degree.
  After law school, he quickly proved himself a skilled attorney. He 
served as Assistant Ohio Attorney General from 1951 to 1952 and then 
returned to Pickaway County as a prosecuting attorney from 1955 to 
  During this time, he was also Circleville's Assistant City 
Prosecutor, while finding the time to maintain a busy private law 
practice. He developed a reputation as a tireless worker and dedicated 
public servant.
  In 1957, he was appointed to the post in which he would serve the 
rest of his career--he was appointed Pickaway County Common Pleas Court 
Judge and was re-elected to this post every six years until his 
retirement on December 31, 1994.
  While serving on the bench for those 37 years, Judge Ammer handled 
more than 30,000 cases. Few of these cases were appealed, and most of 
those cases that were appealed were affirmed by higher courts. As a 
member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I can tell you that this low 
reversal rate is one of the best indicators of a good, sound judge.
  But I can also say that another great indicator is the man's 
reputation in the community. Anyone who knew Judge Ammer, and anyone 
who knew the attorneys who practiced in Pickaway County or the area 
certainly knew Judge Ammer's great reputation. And they knew how well 
respected he was in the Pickaway County community and the surrounding 
  In addition to handling cases in Pickaway County, Judge Ammer often 
was assigned to preside in other counties by the Supreme Court of Ohio. 
This is also the mark of a good, well-respected judge. Only those 
capable of handling the toughest cases are sent on assignments to other 
jurisdictions. Once again, Judge Ammer's reputation for hard work and 
diligence clearly preceded him.
  While Judge Ammer was frequently sent on assignment outside of 
Pickaway County, his heart remained in Circleville. Each year, Judge 
Ammer sent out memorable Christmas cards depicting Circleville 
  Certainly my wife Fran and I each year were recipients of those 
Christmas cards as were so many other people. And we always looked 
forward to receiving them. These cards reflected his love for the 
community and were eagerly awaited each holiday season by those of us 
fortunate enough to be on his Christmas card list.
  Judge Ammer was also involved with a number of community 
organizations. He was President of the Ted Lewis Museum, an institution 
honoring that great native of Circleville. He was actively involved in 
the American Legion, the Kiwanis Club, the Pickaway Country Historical 
and Genealogical Society, and the Masonic Lodge.
  Perhaps the greatest testament, however, to his connection to the 
Circleville community comes now after his death. As the last member of 
the Ammer family in Circleville, Judge Ammer arranged to have much of 

[[Page S16092]]

estate go toward providing scholarships for Circleville High School 
students. This act certainly reveals Judge Ammer's generous and giving 
nature and his desire to help other Circleville natives succeed.

  In tribute to Judge Ammer, who has been a true role model for so many 
of us in Ohio, my wife Fran and I say thank you. Judge Ammer was a kind 
human being who left an unbelievable print on the lives of so many 
countless people who he touched. He truly helped people. He changed 
lives. He made a difference. We all miss him. We miss him dearly. He 
will always be remembered by his beloved community.