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State honores former judge William M. Kidd

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

In 1965, West Virginia State Police trooper Joe Trupo was transferred from his post in Kingwood to one in Braxton County.

Upon his arrival there, he met with the prosecuting attorney to discuss what needed to be done to make the county safe for its residents.

Since he was new to the area, and had no place to live yet, that prosecutor invited Trupo to move in with his family. That act of kindness is one Trupo still fondly remembers.

"Those years were the beginning of a lasting friendship," Trupo said.

On Friday, the former Harrison County Sheriff and curent U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of West Virginia was on hand for the dedication of a portrait of William M. Kidd, who went on to become a long-time federal judge in the northern district of the state.

"He was a good friend and an honorable man," Trupo said of Kidd. During his remarks to the U.S. District Courtroom full of dignitaries, Trupo choked up several times while talking about his friend.

"He took it upon himself to teach me about the finer aspects of justice," he said.

Kidd served as U.S. Judge for the Southern District of West Virginia from December 1979 until December 1982. He then served as a federal judge in the northern district from January 1983 until his death on Dec. 20, 1998.

He achieved senior federal judge status in 1990.

Dignitaries from around the state assembled in the courtroom on the second floor of the U.S. Post Office building in Clarksburg for the event.

Chief Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr., Senior Judge Robert E. Maxwell and judges Irene M. Keeley and W. Craig Broadwater were joined during the special court session by attorneys from around the state, friends and family of the former judge.

His daughter, Madelyn Sue Kidd Shipe unveiled the portrait after addressing the crowd.

"He gave all to his wife, his family, his friends, and he gave all to one other love: The legal system," Shipe said. "He never retired because he couldn't live without it."

During the ceremony, Shipe donated $10,000 in Judge Kidd's name to the West Virginia University College of Law.

Those who spoke reminisced about the judge's life. They spoke of his demeanor on the bench, his often long stories and the wisdom behind his decisions.

Thomas R. Tinder, executive director of the state bar association, remembered when he appeared as a litigant before Kidd, who then was a circuit judge in Braxton County.

In 1975, Tinder, then the state's newly-appointed welfare commissioner, was subpoenaed to appear in Kidd's courtroom as a witness.

"I had to testify in a juvenile case. I was afraid of him to be honest," he said with a laugh. "He was stern, but you could tell he was knowledgeable and kind."

Kidd's portrait was painted by renowned West Virginia artist Adele Thorton Lewis, who could not attend the ceremony.

She has also painted portraits of Senator Robert C. Byrd and state native Chuck Yeager.

Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404 or by e-mail at pdarst@exponent-telegram.com.

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