Sitting Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Jon Thompson died Monday. 

Thompson, 65, had served on Court of Appeals Division I since 1995, when he was appointed by then-Gov. Fife Symington. 

According to the court, he was the state’s second-longest serving appellate judge on the bench. Division II Judge Phillip Espinosa, who was appointed in 1992, is the longest-serving appellate judge. 

“Judge Thompson was not only our most senior judge, he was also one of the longest-serving judges in Arizona at the time of his death, and he had an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of our court,” Division I Chief Judge Peter Swann said in a statememt.

“Those of us lucky enough to have worked with Jon know what a dedicated scholar of the law he was,” Swann continued, “and how generous he was with his mind, even to the point of assisting judges on decisions with which he disagreed.” 

He played in a band with Espinosa and other Court of Appeals judges. 

Before serving on the bench, Thompson was a litigation partner for Mangum, Wall, Stoops and Warden in Flagstaff. 

He served as a judge pro tempore in Coconino County Superior Court and as a deputy county attorney in Coconino and Yuma counties. He served on multiple boards connected with the legal system. 

Thompson attended Glendale Community College then earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and a law degree from the University of Colorado. 

He served as an elder and deacon for more than 30 years with the Flagstaff Federated Community Church.

Thompson is survived by his wife,  Paulene; their sons Hans (Nanna) and Paul (Lindsay); his unofficially adopted daughter Nina Holiday; his mother, Beatrice Ann; his brothers Alan and Thomas; and five grandchildren. 

Have thoughts about Arizona’s legal system? Reach criminal justice reporter Lauren Castle at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @Lauren_Castle.

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