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Gary community and associates mourn death of Judge Diane Boswell

Shock and disbelief gripped members of the legal community as they learned of the death of Lake County Senior Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell.

The same sentiment spread across Lake County, as more people became aware of Boswell’s death. Appointed to the bench by former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Boswell worked in the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office and served as supervisory attorney in the Lake County Superior Court Division.

“We are deeply saddened and in disbelief by the news of the passing of one of Lake County’s most esteemed judges, Judge Diane Boswell,” Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said in a statement. “Judge Boswell was an extraordinary woman. Our office had the distinct pleasure of working with her.  She started in our Felony Division as a Deputy Prosecutor in 1994.  In I996, she served as a Deputy Prosecutor in our Juvenile Division.  In 1996, Boswell became the Supervisor of our County Courts Division and in 2005 she left our offices to become judge.  She was not only a colleague, but she also was a friend of the Prosecutor’s Office. Her wisdom, kindness and her tireless pursuit for justice is what we will miss the most.  Judge Boswell’s passion for righteousness and her ability to inspire others will continue through those whom she touched.  We extend our sincerest condolences to her cherished family, both at home and in her court room.  The way she lived her life is an inspiration for all and her unwavering commitment to pursuit of fairness and equality will continue to encourage us all.  As an office we mourn her and as a community we will forever honor her memory.”

Prior to working with the Prosecutor’s Office, she served as a staff member for the Lake County Division of Family and Children.

“I’ve known her for over 30 years,” said local attorney and State NAACP President Barbara Bolling-Williams. “We worked together at the Welfare Department. She was always doing what she could for people, and any way she could, she would. I am in such disbelief because depending on your perspective she was still kind of young.” 

Bolling-Williams said that Boswell was busy helping with plans for the James Kimbrough Bar Association’s Legacy Ball. The event was to honor African American jurists.

Boswell, a lifelong Republican, was the party’s candidate for mayor of Gary in the 1995 municipal election and Bolling-Williams remembers Boswell seeking her support. “I told her that if she won her primary, then I will vote for her. She did, and I did vote for her in the general election that year.”

Calumet Township Trustee Kimberly Robinson said she could relate to Boswell having begun her career in the social realm. “We used to have conversations about our involvement, especially when I became trustee and she was helpful to those of us in the political arena,” said Robinson.

Boswell’s son Alger, III, was an outstanding football player in high school and college. He would later volunteer to help coach the West Side Leadership Academy team. Robinson says she remembers seeing Boswell dressed in her son’s letterman’s jacket and volunteering to help make sandwiches for the team.

Chicago Urban League President and CEO and former Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson released this statement: “Like so many of her friends and colleagues, I am devastated by the death of Judge Boswell. I will always cherish her memory as one who loved her family and friends dearly; and who was an avid traveler and a champion for the voiceless. I would often talk to her about her father and my grandfather’s friendship and their role in a tight knit community.” She continued: “I think it was that passion for community that fueled her desire to help people as a social worker, lawyer and ultimately one of the most compassionate judges I knew. My heartfelt condolences go out to Alger and her entire family.”

And former Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez, in offering his condolences, said, “Judge Boswell was a dear friend and colleague and a well-respected, distinguished jurist. She was kindhearted and will be dearly missed.”

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