COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A prominent Columbus judge and influential community leader, Judge Aaron Cohn, passed away on Independence Day.
In his 96 years on Earth he accomplished many great things and News Leader 9 sat down with some of the people he inspired most with his work.
"He leaves a legacy that is worthy of trying to follow," said Superior Court Judge Art Smith.
Judge Cohn served for nearly half a century in juvenile courts, and many would say he paved the way for the judges who followed in his footsteps.
"His imprint is on everything that has to do with the juvenile justice system in this circuit," said Superior Court Judge John Allen. "He will be fondly remembered for that as well."
Those who knew him best say he will most be remembered for his love and care for the children he dealt with.
"He was courteous, but he could also be stern when that was called for," Judge Smith said. "I think there are a lot of young people in this community who got back on the right track, if they got off track briefly, it was because of his fatherly love for all the children who came before him."
"All he saw was the child," said Juvenile Court Judge Andrew Dodgen. "He used to tell me, 'Andy, it is all about getting a handle on them or it is all about trying to figure out what is going on with them. Do not get too exercised with all of the rest of the stuff.' That was just the kind of guy he was."
"I know people will say how much he loved children and how much he loved Columbus and really wanted to help," said Columbus Crime Prevention Director Seth Brown.
Although the public mostly saw his professional side, Judge Cohn often opened up to those he mentored with a glimpse of his life outside the courtroom.
"When you went into his office he had so many stories about what he had been through: World War II and working with Patton, when he was at Georgia, he'd talk about how he was one of the only Jewish students at the time, and how he was on the tennis team. He had great stories from his past and he could talk to you for hours," Brown said.
Judge Aaron Cohn passed away on Independence Day, fitting for a World War II veteran.
"We will miss him, the profession will miss him, I know his family will and the community at large, because he gave such great service to this community for so many years," said Judge Allen.
Funeral services for Judge Aaron Cohn will be held at Temple Israel on Sunday at 2 p.m. After that he will be laid to rest at Riverdale Cemetery.