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Court Mourns the Passing of Retired U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The federal court family is saddened to report the passing of former U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom on January 13, 2020, at the age of 87.

Judge Shanstrom was appointed United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Montana in 1983.  He served as a magistrate judge in Billings until he was appointed United States District Judge in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush.  He served as chief judge of the district from 1996 until he assumed senior status in 2001.  Throughout his time on senior status, Judge Shanstrom maintained a regular case load, resulting in a combined 30 years of service on the federal bench in the District of Montana.

Judge Shanstrom was an institution in the District of Montana. To the federal court family as well as to several Justices of the United States Supreme Court, he personified Montana values, both as a judge and a fisherman. His absence will be felt throughout the federal court family by all who accompanied him through decades on both sides of the bar, as well as by those who met him only shortly before his retirement.  The judges and staff of the District of Montana extend our condolences to Judge Shanstrom’s family and to all those he influenced during his exemplary record of 56 years of public service. 

A celebration of life will be held at Mayflower Congregational Church, Billings, Montana, on March 7, 2020, at 10 a.m. Judge Shanstrom’s full obituary is available at this link: