Family, friends and co-workers of Judge Robert "Bob" Moon gathered Saturday afternoon in downtown Chattanooga to pay final tribute to the popular longtime fixture in the local legal community.
The funeral was held at First Presbyterian Church on McCallie Avenue, less than 10 blocks from the Hamilton County Justice Building where he had presided over everything from accused first-degree murderers to illegal hunting and shoplifting cases for a decade and a half.
Two of his fellow judges, Johnny Houston of Red Bank and Curtis Collier of U.S. District Court, spoke during the service.
A third, General Sessions Court Judge David Bales, served as one of his pallbearers.
But it was memories of the judge off the bench that drew many of the mourners - most of whom had known him for years - to his funeral.
"The way I always think of him is out there in his white overalls, working in his garden," one elderly woman remembered with a sad smile as she sat waiting for the service to begin.
Outside the church, where the judge and his wife Debbie regularly attended, parking spaces in every direction were all taken more than 90 minutes before the funeral officially began at 3 p.m.
A lifelong Chattanooga area resident, Judge Moon began working here as an attorney following his graduation from Memphis State Law School.
He later served for 13 years as Signal Mountain city judge, until his 1996 appointment to the Sessions Court bench he held for the remainder of his life.
Dr. Fred Steelman and the Rev. Chris Ehlers officiated at the service, where special music was provided by Donna Coleman and Landas Batts and The Trio sang the hymn: "It is well with my soul."
The church was packed with people with whom he had worked, including many of the law enforcement officers who had testified as witnesses in his courtroom and the area politicians with whom he had built deep personal as well as professional relationships over the years.
In addition to Judge Bales, his pallbearers included Morris Bice, Gerald Brown, Donnie Covey, Dr. Jim Eyssen and Claude Sterling, his longtime court officer.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger and county commissioners and judges served as honorary pallbearers.
In addition to his wife, to whom he had been married for 35 years, Judge Moon is survived by his mother, Christine L. Moon, and brother, Mark D. Moon, both of Red Bank.
Following the funeral, mourners were led by an honorary color guard across Veterans Bridge and out Hixson Pike to Hamilton County Memorial Gardens for the judge's burial.
Law enforcement turned out for popular judge's funeral
- Photo2 by Lawson Whitaker