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Letter to the Editor: Support Owen Eagan for Probate Judge

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Dear Editor,

I strongly urge West Hartford to support Owen Eagan for Probate Judge in the Democratic primary on August 9.

I have known Owen since we served together on the West Hartford Town Council over twenty years ago. Nobody is more qualified, honest and committed.

Owen is competent and committed professionally. Owen has been recognized statewide and serves as chair of the state’s Freedom of Information Commission. He could have practiced law anywhere after Georgetown law school, but he soon set up his own law firm in West Hartford center, where he has practiced for nearly 30 years. Owen has vast experience in estate planning and other matters important to the probate judge position.

Owen’s personal background similarly reflects important qualities. Owen has coached West Hartford boys and girls sports for decades (I especially appreciate this, having just finished my 25th and last season coaching West Hartford youth baseball). Owen’s volunteer civic service included not only the Town Council but also the Planning and Zoning Commission. Owen’s service has reflected the commitment, experience and lessons of his parents; Owen’s father, F. Owen Eagan, was a long-time federal magistrate judge (who I had the privilege to appear before as a lawyer), and Owen has learned and/or inherited the wisdom and kindness that always marked his father’s efforts.

Wisdom and kindness are critical for a probate judge. When I moved to Westbrook from West Hartford six years ago, I heard from several long-time residents, who shared stories about my grandfather, who served as Westbrook’s probate judge sixty years ago, after a long and successful career in Hartford. A community leader reported the praise his own parents reported about my grandfather’s important role in his adoption—and how he instructed that the fee due the probate judge be instead put in the baby’s “college account.” An even older resident shared his memory of wise decisions on difficult family estate issues.

Owen has that thoughtful and wise tenderness – and would likewise serve as a wonderful probate judge.

The probate judge’s authority affects families at their most sensitive moments—dealing with birth and death and serious illness. I cannot imagine anyone better able to understand and address those issues—to mix wisdom and kindness, justice and compassion—than Owen Eagan.

Andy Schatz
Attorney and former West Hartford resident
Westbrook, CT

 

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