Cops, Courts and Fire Government

Retired Bucks County Judge Dies Of Parkinson’s Disease

The judge served in the county’s legal community for decades.

The Bucks County Justice Center in Doylestown. File photo.

Bucks County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Rufe died last month, according to an obituary.

Rufe, a lifelong Bucks Countian and longtime Newtown Borough resident, served the county in front of the bench and behind it over his career.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Rufe died from complications from Parkinson’s disease at Chandler Hall in Newtown Borough.

Rufe worked as an assistant district attorney for the county in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He worked in private practice before being appointed a Bucks County Court of Common Pleas judge in 1989. He then was elected twice to serve. He decided in 2009 to serve as a senior judge until he fully retired at the end of 2017.

“I was never too hot or too cold, and always looked forward to a day’s work,” he told the Doylestown Intelligencer when he retired.

In his final years on the bench, Rufe oversaw the county’s drug court.

Rufe, an Upper Bucks County native, was married to U.S. District Court Senior Judge Cynthia Rufe, a former Bucks County judge. The two served on the county bench together for some time.

The couple married in 1999, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer article from the time.

At the time of their wedding, John Rufe told the newspaper the couple can support one another “in what can sometimes be a lonely job.”

John Rufe’s brother was William Hart Rufe III, a former county common pleas court judge. Their times on the bench overlapped.

John Rufe is survived by his wife, daughters, stepdaughters, grandchildren, and other family.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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