Judge William Francis Chinnock, age 83, attorney, legislator,

activist, and judge, passed away August 29th, 2021 peacefully at home

in Boulder, Colorado.

Judge Chinnock’s first job as a teenager was mopping floors during

his high-school summers at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in

Cleveland, Ohio, where he also worked his way through college and law

school as a custodian and night watchman.  He then joined the United

States Navy and served as a Seaman aboard the “Frogman Ship” in the

Mediterranean Sea. Upon discharge, he attended John Carroll

University, as an undergraduate, and then received his doctor of

jurisprudence degree from Western Reserve University School of Law. As

a practicing lawyer, he was known as an in-depth researcher and

courtroom advocate who represented many clients in their legal

matters, often without fees.

During his 16 years as Lakewood, Ohio Councilman, in the 1970’s and

1980’s he initiated scores of progressive laws and programs designed

to benefit health and safety. Many of these he pioneered were

duplicated as model laws and enacted in communities throughout the

United States.

After practicing law for 35 years, Chinnock was appointed by Ohio

Governor George Voinovich as Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court Judge.

Judge Chinnock went on to serve as a Visiting Judge in almost half of

Ohio’s 88 counties by special assignment of the Ohio Supreme Court.

He was an avid researcher of the law, and a number of his legal

opinions and law review articles were published in prominent law

journals, including “No Smoking Around Children” published in the

University of Arizona Law Review (2002).

Judge Chinnock happily spent his retirement years in the Rocky

Mountains above Boulder, Colorado.

He is survived by his children; his sisters Mickey O’Brien (née Chinnock)

and Eileen Lashutka (née Chinnock); and his constant companion dog, Cassidy.

A memorial mass for the repose of his soul, and to honor his life in

Boulder, will be held on Wednesday, December 1st at 9:30 am MST at St.

Thomas Aquinas Church at 14th and Aurora Streets, Boulder, CO.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Ignatius High School

Scholarship Fund, Cleveland, Ohio or the Southern Poverty Law Center

in Montgomery, Alabama (https://www.splcenter.org/).

2 thoughts on “William F Chinnock”

  1. What an incredible career. Sending sincere condolences to all his family and friends. May God rest his soul and bring comfort to yours.

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