HONORABLE EDWARD W. BEGLIN, JR.
A native of Elizabeth and a product of its school system, the Hon. Edward W. Beglin, Jr. was born on Jan. 15, 1934. He graduated with honors from Wesleyan University in 1955, and then attended New York University School of Law as a Snow National Scholar, attaining the Dean's List and graduating with a LLB degree in 1958. He was admitted to the bar of the State of NJ and to the US District Court in 1959 and admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court in 1963. After serving two years in the US Army, he practiced law in Plainfield with the firm of Crane, Beglin and Vastola for the next 15 years. During that time, he served as Attorney for the Plainfield Board of Adjustment and as Prosecutor, City Solicitor and Acting Corporation Counsel for Plainfield; as Borough Attorney of Fanwood; and as Attorney for the Bridgewater Board of Adjustment.
The judge's roots in Union County are deep. His maternal ancestors, John and Mary Ogden Woodruff, settled in Elizabethtown in 1665. John Woodruff was appointed High Sheriff of the county in 1684, and his son, John, was a member of the Colonial Legislature. Their grandson, Benjamin Woodruff, served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Westfield, which Judge Beglin attended for decades. A great-grandson, David Woodruff, was a captain in the American Revolution.
Judge Beglin was appointed to the Union County District Court in 1976 and to the state Superior Court in 1978. He served in both the Civil and Criminal Divisions until becoming Assignment Judge in August 1983. Judge Beglin continued to serve in that capacity until his retirement in 2004. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honored at multiple retirement events, one including 21 bagpipers.
During his years on the Superior Court bench, he was a member of the NJ Judicial Council, and he chaired the Judiciary/Surrogates Liaison Committee for over 20 years and the Judiciary's Budget and Planning Committee for over 10 years. Judge Beglin served on a host of other state-wide committees dealing with court security, domestic violence, sexual harassment, the appointment of fiduciaries and the development of Model Criminal Jury Charges under Title 2C. For over 10 years, he was an instructor in Civil Practice for the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and during his judicial career he authored 13 published decisions. A member of the Plainfield, Union County, NJ State and American Bar Associations, Judge Beglin became a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 1992.
After retiring, Judge Beglin became an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University and Kean University. He created a well-received course on the interaction between American history and US Supreme Court decisions.
Judge Beglin loved music, travel and--most of all--his family: his wife of 52 years, the former Helen Mabry (Rev. Helen Beglin), and their children, Dr. Peter A. Beglin (Shelley Wilfong) of Bellingham, WA, and Julie Beglin (Dan Horan) of Brooklyn Heights, NY, along with their grandchildren Lillian, Simon and Georgia Horan, Jack Beglin and Annie Wilfong.
Funeral Home Visiting Hours: Saturday, May 20, 4-7 pm, Gray's Funeral Home in Cranford. Go to grayfuneralhomes.com for on line condolences.
Memorial Service: Sunday, May 21, 3 pm, Westfield Presbyterian Church in Westfield.
Memorial donations can be made to the Presbyterian Church in Westfield or to Doctors Without Borders.