A Marysville man who spent decades serving Union County's judicial system has passed away.

A Marysville man who spent decades serving Union County's judicial system has passed away.

Joseph B. Grigsby, former judge of Union County Common Pleas Court, died Sept. 16, at the age of 91.

Grigsby's son, current Marysville Municipal Court Judge Michael J. Grigsby, said his father was a man who kept both feet on the ground.

"He was always friendly to everyone and he never forgot where he grew up," he said. "He wasn't somebody to put on airs he was pretty down to earth, and was just interested in the things that were essential."

Born and raised in Marysville, the elder Grigsby began his career practicing law after earning degrees from both Ohio State University and Michigan. His law career began in Uptown.

"He graduated from Marysville High School on Sixth Street across from the courthouse, and his office was across from the courthouse until about 1970 when he and David Allen moved their office to Fifth Street, where Dave's office still is now," Michael Grigsby said. "Within that three or four block area, a lot of his life was spent there."

Grigsby served as the elected common pleas court judge from 1979 to 1991. For another eight years after that, he served as a visiting judge throughout Ohio, primarily issuing rulings in Dayton, his son said.

"If a court had more cases than it could handle, or if something was a bit of a hot potato, they'll assign an out-of-town judge, and that's what he did until about 1991," Michael Grigsby said.

During his years on the bench in Union County, Grigsby passed rulings on a variety of cases, but one particular trial will always remain in the county's collective memory.

"He was the judge for the case when (Union County) Sheriff (Harry) Wolfe was shot," his son said. "That was probably by far the biggest local case that he handled.

"I had been in practice for about a year when that happened. He was always taking something home from work he spent a lot of time on trial preparations. That was a big case for many reasons."

Sheriff Wolfe was killed on Jan. 21, 1982, while responding to a burglary on Robinson Road in Plain City. Stanley Penn was convicted of Wolfe's murder, after Penn was found months later as a prisoner on Riker's Island in New York under an alias. Penn was extradited to Ohio near Christmastime in 1982, pleading not guilty by reason of insanity.

He changed his plea to guilty the following summer and he is now serving a life sentence in Lucasville Penitentiary.

Michael Grigsby said his father was a man who loved his profession, as well as the people of his hometown.

"He just loved the law, to study it, and he liked the work and the people," he said. "He was also someone who was active in community organizations like the Chamber of Commerce he wanted to see Marysville prosper."

Grigsby also was a decorated member of the United States Army. He was commissioned in 1942 as a first lieutenant and sent to Fort Sill, Ok., where he was part of the last mounted cavalry units in the U.S. Army, according to his obituary. As a forward observer for the 61st Field Artillery Battalion of the First Cavalry Division, Grigsby served for 30 months in New Guinea, the Admiralties, Australia, the Philippines and Japan, attaining the rank of captain. He was awarded the Bronze Star.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held for Grigsby at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church on Thursday. He was interred in the church cemetery, next to his wife, Rachel.

The Union County Honor Guard provided full graveside honors at the service.

Grigsby is survived by his children, Mary C. Langevin of Farmington, Minn., Judge Michael J. Grigsby, Thomas G. Grigsby, both of Marysville; Teresa Ann (Dr. Jay) Loftsgaarden of Altoona, Wis.; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Rachel, and a brother, Glenn.