February 21, 2014

Remembering The Honorable Donald E. Calhoun, Jr.

Judge Calhoun was appointed to the federal bankruptcy bench in 1985. He served as a judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio for twenty-three years, retiring at age 82. Judge Calhoun was widely respected as an outstanding jurist. Referred to by some attorneys as “the gentleman judge,” Judge Calhoun exhibited a model judicial temperament and unmatched integrity. He frequently wrote and spoke at legal seminars on the topics of ethics and professionalism, ideals that were the touchstone of his legal career. During his tenure, Judge Calhoun presided over scores of business bankruptcy cases, including the National Century Enterprises Chapter 11 proceeding, one of the largest and most complex cases ever filed in the Columbus bankruptcy court.

While Judge Calhoun gained high marks for his skillful handling of large, business bankruptcy cases, he found presiding over individual bankruptcy cases to be the most fulfilling part of his job. He was known for his empathy and compassion in the courtroom, taking great pride in the role he played in helping people truly in need overcome their financial difficulties and gain a fresh start.

Although Judge Calhoun was committed to the serious work of administering justice, he was a humble, modest man who never took himself too seriously. He will be fondly remembered by his judicial colleagues, the entire court staff and the attorneys who practiced before him for his warm heart, quick wit and outstanding sense of humor.

John E. Hoffman
Judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court,
Southern District of Ohio


Service will be held on Saturday, February 22, 1 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 444 East Broad Street. The Family will receive guests at 12:30 p.m. A reception will follow the Service in the Parish Hall.