Honorable John Edward Fenton, Jr. 83, a resident of Andover, and a former long time resident of Lawrence, died on Sunday, August 24, 2014 at the Merrimack Valley Hospice in Haverhill.
He was born in Lawrence on October 28, 1930 to Honorable John E. Fenton, Sr. and Elizabeth (McMahon) Fenton. Educated in Lawrence Schools a graduate of Lawrence High School with Great Distinction, Class of 1947. A graduate of College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Bachelor of Arts, cum laude 1951, Boston College Law School, Chestnut Hill, Juris Doctor, June 1954, (ranked 2nd in graduating class), and Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Master of Laws, June 1955. Served as a First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the United States Army for 27 months. He was appointed Associate Justice, Massachusetts Land Court, May of 1974, Administrative Justice (Chief Justice), Massachusetts Land Court, September 1990; served until December 31, 1992. Appointed Chief Administrative Justice of the Trial Court, January 1992 by Supreme Judicial Court (position is now called Chief Justice for Administration & Management); served until August 1995. At Suffolk University Law School he was a Distinguished Professor of Law, 2000 to June 2013, Dean and Professor of Law, September 1995 to October 1999.
Admitted to Massachusetts Bar on October 19, 1954; admitted to practice in the United States District Court, United States Court of Appeals, United States Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. General practice of law from 1954 to 1974 (except for period of military service) with Lawrence firm of Fenton and Elias. He served on such judicial committees as Chairman of the Advisory Committee to Study the Rules of Evidence; appointed by the Supreme Judicial Court. He is the Former Board Chairman and Trustee of the Holy Family Hospital and Medical Center, and affiliated corporations and former President, Director and Member of Planning Committee, Mary Immaculate Nursing & Restorative Center, Lawrence. Received such awards Doctor of Laws (Honorary) Suffolk University, May 2011 and the Ralph B. Wilkinson “Good Citizenship Award”, Presented by Greater Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, May 1974, “Distinguished Faculty Member Award” by Student Bar Association of Suffolk University Law School, 1970, Recipient of “Caritas Christi Medal” for distinguished service in health care field, of first “Lifetime Achievement Award” from Suffolk University Alumni Association, By legislative enactment, new court house in Lawrence named “Fenton Judicial Center” in honor of Judge John E. Fenton Sr. and John E. Fenton Jr. Original hospital building at Holy Family Hospital rededicated in name John E. Fenton Jr. and Recipient of Mary Immaculate “Sharing & Caring” Award-October 2012.
He loved to travel with the Lanes and Rogers family to Florida, going to the Holy Family Hospital to meet with Bill Lane to discuss issues involving the Hospital and health care in general, Teaching Law and interacting with his students, watching his nephew Paul play baseball from little league through college. Going to Red Sox, Celtics & Patriots games and watching them on T.V. and trips to New York City with his family.
He leaves his loving wife of 56 years, Theresa (Regan) Fenton, nieces and nephews: Patricia and husband Attorney John T. Pollano of North Andover, Thomas and his wife Leslie Martineau of Salem, NH. Grand nieces and nephews: Amy P. Pollano of Andover, Thomas J Pollano of North Andover, Paul M. Pollano of North Andover, Sarah and Megan Martineau of Salem, NH.
John was a caring, loyal, generous and humble who like his father, John E. Fenton, could never say no to a kid. He will be greatly missed by his family & legion friends. He always had time to help people especially young people.
Memorial contributions can be made to: St. Augustine Church, 43 Essex St. Andover, MA, 01810, Merrimack Valley Hospice House, 360 North Avenue, Haverhill, MA, 01830, or to the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club, 136 Water Street, Lawrence, MA, 01841.