The Omaha legal, judicial, and political communities are still reeling less than 24 hours after the sudden death of longtime Judge Mark Ashford.
Judge Ashford, 66, presided in Omaha for 30 years, the last 18 of them in Douglas County District Court.
Wednesday night at about 6pm, he was found unresponsive at his desk in his chambers by an attorney. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
His brother, Former U.S. Congressman Brad Ashford, says he cared for his family, and treated others as dear friends.
"Mark was a super judge and a great father, uncle and family person. I think his committment to the law throughout his entire career in public service. he was very conscious of his heritage," Brad Ashford explained.
Recently Judge Ashford presided over the first Veterans Treatment Court graduation in the state of Nebraska. His father flew B-25 Bombers in on D-Day during World War II.
"Mark was always so impressed with what that generation gave and that his dad was a part of it and Veterans Treatment Court was what I sense a way to give back and repay what all of those who had done for our country," said Douglas Co. District Court Judge James Gleason.
Funeral arrangements have not been revealed yet, but family says it will likely be early next week.