Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah State Courts mourn the passing of Judge Regnal Washington Garff, Jr. and thank him for his exemplary service to the people of Utah for many years.

Judge Garff passed away on February 25, 2023 at the age of 95. He was born in 1927 and was raised in Utah. He graduated from the University of Utah in 1955 with an LL.B. degree and acquired a Juris Doctor degree in 1967.

Judge Garff was a nationally recognized pioneer in the juvenile justice system. He was the first judge to begin working in the Utah juvenile court in 1959.  He served for a combined 34 years as a juvenile court judge in what is now the Third District Juvenile Court, and as a founding member of the Utah Court of Appeals, until his retirement in 1993. Judge Garff also served as the first Presiding Judge of the Utah Court of Appeals.

“Reg Garff was one of the finest human beings I have known. No wonder he was such a luminary on our juvenile court bench for so many years,” said Judge Gregory Orme, Utah Court of Appeals. “He was empathetic, generous with his time, flexible, humorous, and fair. We came to the Utah Court of Appeals together when the court was first established, 37 years ago. He was the oldest appointee; I was the youngest. We elected him to be our first presiding judge. His office was right next to mine, and we got along fabulously although he was old enough to be my father. We served together for six years before he retired, but we remained good friends throughout the decades that followed. He truly was one of the giants of the Utah judiciary.”

Judge Garff was honored as Outstanding Judge of the Year, 1976; S.J. Quinney College of Law Award, Honorary Order of the Coif, 1978; Outstanding Appellate Court Judge, 1989; and the University of Utah Merit of Honor Award, 1999.

Funeral services for Judge Garff are scheduled for Saturday, March 4 at 12:00 p.m.

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Utah Courts

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