Alexandria, VA - Retired Superior Court Judge John Patrick Carroll died peacefully at home in Alexandria, Virginia, on November 16, 2017, after a long and accomplished life. He was born on March 25, 1921, in Helena, Montana, the youngest of seven children of James Tilden Carroll and Mary Jane Conley. In 1927, when he was six years old, he moved with his family to Los Angeles, California. John attended Our Lady of Loreto Catholic School. He graduated from Loyola High School in 1939, and from Loyola University in 1943, with a degree in business administration. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and during World War II was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Great Falls, Montana. In 1944, he married Weldon Blain.
Following his honorable discharge, he was employed as an accountant in Los Angeles, but in 1948 decided to become a lawyer. He graduated from Loyola University School of Law in 1951, and was admitted to the California Bar in January 1952. That same year he and Weldon moved to Indio, California, which at that time had a population of roughly 4,500, and he opened a law practice. Beginning in 1954, he served as Indio's first Deputy Public Defender. In 1956, he and Tom Anderson became law partners and opened their own firm, Carroll & Anderson, on Oasis Street.
During his service as an officer, trustee, and President of the Desert Bar Association, John Carroll worked to establish a Municipal Court District in the Coachella Valley. In 1961, his efforts bore fruit, with Municipal Courts opened in Palm Springs and Indio. Beginning in 1963, he worked tirelessly with other members of the community to establish the Boys' Club of the Coachella Valley (now The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coachella Valley, Inc.), which opened its doors in 1968, and now bears his name and that of his friend of 65 years, the late Jim O'Brien, the club's first treasurer.
In 1975, John Carroll was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve on the Municipal Court in Palm Springs, and in 1979. Governor Brown appointed him to the Superior Court for Riverside County. Judge Carroll retired in 1989.
Judge Carroll was predeceased by his wife of 68 years, Weldon Blain Carroll, sisters Helen, Kathleen and Betty, brothers Leo and James, sisters-in-law Henrietta and Caroline, and brother-in-law Bill Passey. He is survived by his beloved sister, Joan Schonig, of San Clemente, California, his daughter Colleen Carroll, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins, including Marguerite Iller, Betty Ann Snyder, Carol Chamberlin, Michael Crow, Judi Stauble, Patrick Conley, and Charlie Carroll.
A funeral mass was held at 12:00 noon, Saturday, February 24, 2018, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 82470 Bliss Street, Indio, California 92201, with a reception to follow. If you are considering a memorial donation, the family recommends The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coachella Valley, 42-600 Cook Street, Suite 120, Palm Desert, California 92211. www.bgcofcv.org
Judge Carroll will be missed by the community he so tirelessly served.