March 10, 1931 – December 12, 2018
The Honorable Judge William (Bill) Scott Posten, age 87, of Minneapolis, passed away on Tues., Dec. 12, 2018, surrounded by his loving family. Bill was born on March 10, 1931, to Ike and Aquila (Clark) Posten, in East Moline, Ill.
Bill is survived by Polly, his loving wife of 43 years; his children Scott, Elaine and Melissa; along with 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and a host of other relatives and friends. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Elizabeth, his parents, stepfather Vern Teague, his daughter Karen and son David.
In 1959, Bill received his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law. He worked in the Social Security Administration Office and advanced as head of the Hennepin County Attorney Office’s criminal division.
In 1973, he was appointed to the county’s district court bench where he became the third African American district court judge in Minnesota. During his tenure, he adjudicated two of the most significant cases recorded in Hennepin County history: The State of Minnesota v. Leonard J Richards, 1991 and Hodder v. Goodyear, 1986.
Bill’s creative and courageous judicial decision, allowing an older female victim to select the punishment for her male rapist assailant, garnered him national and international media attention.
Over 400 people attended the memorial service held at St. Joan of Arc church on Thurs., Dec. 13, 2018. His colleagues described the judge’s personality and demeanor as “graceful, dignified, calm, patient, unflappable under pressure, and brilliant.”
The Posten family is grateful to the good people at Fairview Hospice for their loving and compassionate care of Bill prior to his death. Donations may be made in honor of Judge William Posten to: Fairview Home Care and Hospice, Fairview Foundation, Riverside Professional Bldg. #119, 2450 Riverside Ave., Mpls., MN 55454 or Pathways, 3115 Hennepin Ave. So., Mpls., MN 55408.