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Probate Judge Frank Simon will retire July 1 after more than 17 years on the bench.
First elected in 1994, five years after moving to the area from New York, the New Jersey native was re-elected in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2012 without opposition.
Simon said he worked to preside in a way that stuck to the law while still serving the needs of those who appeared before him.
"I tried to apply the law and bring in humanity whenever I could," he said Saturday. "It was a positive experience in every respect."
Simon graduated from Rutgers University with a law degree in 1952 and from the New York University Graduate Law School in 1957. He specialized in legal matters concerning taxes and estates and published two books, including "The Keogh Act," which advises the self-employed on planning for retirement.
He said he plans to spend his retirement enjoying his family and listening to jazz, and is considering part-time work.
"I'll have more time to smell the roses, so to speak, but I don't want to do that 24/7," he said. "It might irritate my nose."