The Hon. Claudia House Morcom died Aug. 17. A true civil rights giant, 50 years ago Judge Morcom risked her life to register minority voters and desegregate public facilities in Mississippi. She devoted her life to establish racial and gender equality through her work as an attorney.
Judge Morcom earned her juris doctor at Wayne State University Law School and became the first African American woman to work at one of the nation's first integrated law firms, Goodman, Crockett, Eden, Robb, and Philo. She served as the southern regional director of the National Lawyers Guild Committee for Legal Assistance and director of Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services Program for the indigent. She became the first African American woman appointed to Wayne County Circuit Court in 1983 and served as a delegate to the United Nations Council on Human Rights.
For her work, she received the Wayne State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Peace Award, the Wayne State University Outstanding Alumni Award, Damon Keith Humanitarian Award, Center for Constitutional Rights Award, State Bar of Michigan Champion of Justice Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Women Outstanding Community Leadership Award and the American Civil Liberties Award.
A visitation will be held 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, August 22 at Swanson’s Funeral Home, 806 E. Grand Blvd. in Detroit. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, August 23 at Plymouth United Church of Christ, located at 600 E. Warren in Detroit. The service will be preceded by a family hour at 10 a.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Judge Claudia House Morcom Annual Scholarship and sent to Wayne State University's Fund Office at 5475 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202.
Posted by Samantha Meinke
Donald E. Martin died Jan. 11, 2012. He was a graduate of Valparaiso University School of Law and served as Ingham County Prosecutor from 1986-1996, before joining the law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins and Smith. He served on the State Bar of Michigan's Judicial Qualifications Committee, as chair of the Appellate Defender Committee of the State Appellate Defender Office, and for one year as president of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan.
Funeral services for Don Martin are set for 11 a.m. Saturday at Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lansing. His arrangements are being handled by Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel. For more information about Mr. Martin, read this article in the Lansing State Journal or Mr. Martin's obituary.