Retired Flathead County District Court judge and former Flathead County Attorney Ted Lympus died at his Missoula home on Dec. 3, according to an obituary published in the Missoulian.
Lympus, 77, was a mainstay in the Flathead County judicial system for parts of five decades, beginning as a prosecutor in the 1970s and concluding with a 23-year run as a judge on the 11th District Court of Montana. Lympus was appointed to the court by Gov. Stan Stephens in 1992 and remained there before retiring in August 2015. He spent 13 years as the county attorney before being named to the bench.
“He was a fantastic judge,” Travis Ahner, the current Flathead county attorney, said. “Very thoughtful and considerate of all the parties, the attorneys, anybody involved. He’s greatly missed.”
Tom Esch replaced Lympus as county attorney in 1992 and called his former boss a “mentor” and a “great friend,” remembering Lympus as a compassionate advocate for victims as both a judge and prosecutor.
“He had a tremendous sense of good and bad, right and wrong, and most victims of crime, something wrong has happened to them,“ Esch said. “It’s easy to become jaded or sour or fatigued in case after case after case, but he really engaged with each case and each victim as if it was as important to each victim as it was to him.”
Lympus entered the family business as a prosecutor, following in the footsteps of his father, Oskar Lympus, who once served as the Missoula County attorney. The younger Lympus attended the University of Montana and the UM law school, earning his law degree in 1972.
Lympus is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patsy Skelton Lympus, two children and eight grandchildren. In addition to his legal work, Esch said Lympus’ devotion to his family also served as a template for his own life.
“In terms of his modeling, he was a good role model when it came to caring for his family,” Esch said. “He was a good father and a good husband and that was evident just about every day of his life.”
No public service is scheduled at this time. The family suggests memorial donations can be made to the Montana CASA/GAL Association, the Humane Society of Northwest Montana and the University of Montana Scholarship Association.
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