Honorable Judge James F. Reitz Jr.
May 22, 1962 – June 14, 2019
The honorable Judge James F. Reitz Jr. died in the Putnam County Court House on duty on a Friday morning due to a fatal heart attack at the age of 57. Lifesaving efforts were made, but sadly Judge Reitz died at Putnam Hospital Center. Heroic lifesaving efforts were made by Court Officers and First Responders, but sadly Judge Reitz died at Putnam Hospital Center.
He left behind his wife, Barbara Reitz. Jim and Barbara were both very invested in the lives of our young people and provided hope for a second chance to many. They shared three children, one who serves in law enforcement and one who is actively serving our Country in the United States Navy. He was a loving and supportive husband and a proud grandfather of 7 grandchildren. He was a devoted son, brother, uncle and a true friend.
A resident of Mahopac, Judge Reitz was known to be a fair-minded and Putnam County Court Judge. His commitment to the law was above reproach and his number one priority was serving the public. He truly was an honorable judge.
We may never fully appreciate all that Judge Reitz did in our community because much of his work was behind the scenes, without fanfare or trying to draw attention to himself. In addition to his Judicial responsibilities, Judge Reitz was active in many community endeavors. He was a member and strong supporter of many civic and community programs throughout Putnam County, an excerpt of which are listed at the end of this writing.
Born and raised in Putnam, Judge Reitz’s family roots date back in Putnam three generations. His desire to make a difference was evident as a young man, when he served as both President of his Class at Carmel High School and Captain of the football team.
Judge Reitz received his Baccalaureate in Business Administration from Mercy College in 1986 and Juris Doctor from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1989.
In 1991, Judge Reitz opened a law practice in Carmel. He was elected Carmel Town Justice in 1995. He served in that capacity nearly a decade before being overwhelmingly elected in 2006 as Putnam County Court Judge.
In his role as County Court Judge, he was known as a “Multi-Hat” Judge, presiding over Criminal, Family and Surrogate’s Court. Since 2007, he was also an Acting Supreme Court Justice, presiding over Drug Treatment Court and numerous Supreme Court cases.
In fact, Putnam County Treatment Court was recognized internationally in 2015 when The Today Show and Kate Snow received an Emmy for their Series on the Heroin Epidemic. His wife, Barbara, also served as the Program Coordinator of the Putnam County Youth Court since its inception in 1988.
Here were just some of Jim’s Volunteer Community Service Endeavors:
March of Dimes
American Heart Walk
Youth Court Role of Judge
Women’s Resource Center
Out of The Darkness Walk – Suicide Prevention
Pre-Prom Presentations in every Putnam School
Drug Crisis in Our Backyard
Eagle and Gold Scout Awards Ceremonies
Victim Impact Panel Presentations
Bronze Award Recipient of National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependencies
Thanksgiving food drives
Visits Senior Centers
George’s Place Thanksgiving Dinner for Seniors
Alternatives to Incarceration
Veterans Honor Row
High School Mock Trials
Past Grand Marshal
Honorary Member of Carmel Fire Department
Honorary Member of Mahopac Falls Volunteer Fire Department (where both his dad and grandfather were Chiefs)
2016 Patterson Rotary and “Men Who Cook” Honoree
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Honorable Judge James F. Reitz and his loving family. We are grateful for the legacy that he left behind by helping our community members and making this world a better place. Rest in peace.
Judge Reitz additional Service to the Community includes:
Honorary Member Carmel Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
Knights Of Columbus, Brother Knight
Treatment Court Expert Speaker at West-Conn University, Pace University, Cornell, Dutchess Community College, Northern Putnam/Westchester Boces.
Magistrates Association, Past President
Putnam Bar Association
Cornell Cooperative Extension
American Legion Posts
United For The Troops
Putnam Humane Society
Italian American Club
Elementary School Story Time
Putnam Hospital Board Member
Relay for Life
Chamber of Commerce
Jim is Family of Putnam Valley, Mahopac, Kent, Putnam Lake, Lake Carmel and Brewster Volunteer Fire Departments. And many others… Of All Things Jim Reitz was your Best Friend and now Our Guardian Angel.