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SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah Supreme Court Justice Ronald E. Nehring died Friday from complications due to cancer at age 71.
Nehring served on the state's high court from 2003 until his retirement in 2015.
"Ron was a judge’s judge,” said Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant. “He treated all who appeared before him, and all with whom he worked, with unwavering dignity and respect. He had a rock-solid commitment to justice. His opinions were always thoughtful and elegantly written. He was the kind of person, the kind of judge, we all should aspire to be.”
Nehring, a native of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, graduated with a degree in history from Cornell University, where he earned All-America honors in track and field. He earned his law degree at the University of Utah.
Nehring began his professional career with Utah Legal Services and was a shareholder with the Salt Lake City firm of Prince, Yeates and Geldzahler as a 3rd District Court judge. He was serving as the presiding judge when Gov. Mike Leavitt appointed him to the Utah Supreme Court.
Associate Chief Justice Thomas Lee said Nehring touched the lives of many people for the better.
“Justice Nehring was a paragon of civility, professionalism, judgment and good humor. He was one of our best and brightest. He lived life to the fullest, from his early days an accomplished athlete to his time as one of our most effective judges, he said.
“His thoughtfulness, humor and constant reminder to ‘do justice,’ inspired me to want to be a better version of myself,” said Justice Deno Himonas.
Nehring also served as chairman of the Board of District Court Judges, a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct, and was a member of the Utah Judicial Council.
Nehring leaves behind his wife, Kristina, and three children.