BANGOR (AP) – A memorial service will be held Wednesday for Robert Browne, who served on Maine’s District and Superior court benches after a stint in the Legislature.

Brown, who was 81, died last Thursday at the Maine Veterans Home after a recent illness. As a judge, Browne was known for his patience, wit and gentlemanly demeanor.

The Farmington native served in the Army Signal Corps during World War II and earned a law degree from Boston University School of Law in 1951. He joined a Bangor law firm and served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives in the mid-1950s before being appointed judge in the municipal court in 1961.

Browne became deeply involved in the transformation of the municipal courts into the District Courts, helping to design a system in which much of the burdensome civil procedure was moved from Superior Court down to the District Court level.

Browne was involved in “everything from drafting of the civil rules of the District Court to the very forms used to initiate every conceivable action,” said retired U.S. Magistrate Eugene Beaulieu of Old Town, who as a prosecutor years earlier presented many cases to Browne’s court.

Browne became chief judge of the District Court system in 1971 and three years later was elevated to the Superior Court bench. He became an active retired justice in 1985.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Brookings-Smith Funeral Home in Bangor.

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