By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter
Saturday morning, September 10, Boss Park, on the corner of Avondale and Hawley, was renamed to “Honorable Judge Myron Duhart Park” honoring Judge Myron Duhart, of the Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals, for his long standing career and community service.
Vanice Williams, councilwoman of District 4, where the park is located, along with Councilman John Hobbs III, District 1, helped to spearhead the effort; the two both grew up on Indiana Ave along with the judge, just blocks away from each other.
Williams remarked about her colleague and friend, “He’s an awesome judge, he’s a human judge, he brings humanity to the seat that he serves in… and that’s what we need every single day.” She spoke of Duhart’s dedication to bringing up the next generation of Black lawyers and thanked him for his long standing friendship and dedication.
Hobbs III, who is a former classmate of Duhart at St. Francis de Sales, added “he represents being a great man, a great husband, a great father, a great student, a great community leader” He reflected on the neighborhood where they stood that raised them, “In this community everybody knew everybody…” and spoke about the village that helped to raise them, “We’ve got to bring it back to looking [like that.]
Duhart was raised by his grandmother on Indiana Ave and graduated from St. Francis de Sales High School before enlisting in the US Army. He went on to receive his J.D. from the University of Toledo College of Law and has served the community as a judge since 2011.
Much of his village was present Saturday to celebrate the occasion including his former neighbors on Indiana, fellow classmates and former principal from St. Francis de Sales High School, Fr. Ron Olszewski, along with his former basketball coach, community members and family.
Duhart’s childhood home was directly in front of the Frederick Douglass Center on the other side of the park that now holds his namesake. He was humbled by the celebration and the support. He remarked, “But for this park and this community center [FDCC]… there were so many times and opportunities when I could have went left but I went right, ” he added. “It is the fact that there were people in this community, males in this community who cared.” He reflected on the executive director at the time, Cowgee “Bill” Mangrum who let him play basketball in the gym often at night to keep him off the streets.
Duhart’s hope is that the renaming of the park will inspire the next generation. “My hope is that [with this sign] it serves as an inspiration to generations that will come after… they know that you can. Despite what your circumstances are… you can.”
A representative of the city states that there will be improvements to the park in Spring 2023. The Duhart family stated their commitment to improving the surrounding community.
Judge Duhart received a B.A. in political science from Wright State University and his J.D. from The University of Toledo College of Law. He also received an L.L.M. in judicial studies from Duke University School of Law and has attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Judge Myron C. Duhart was elected to the Sixth District Court of Appeals in November 2020. Prior to the Court of Appeals, he served as a trial judge in the Lucas County Common Pleas Court, General Division since 2011 and served as a commercial docket judge.
Prior to judicial service, Judge Duhart clerked for the Honorable Robert W. Penn and was in private practice in the areas of business litigation, personal injury and criminal law where he was part of a select cadre of attorneys certified by the Supreme Court of Ohio to handle death penalty cases. Judge Duhart is an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo College of Law where he teaches trial practice to third year law students. He also is an Army veteran and served as a JAG Officer in the United States Army.
Judge Duhart is a member of the Ohio, Lucas, and Toledo Bar Association and serves as President of the Toledo Bar Association. Judge Duhart also serves as the President of the University of Toledo College of Law Alumni Board of Governors and serves on the board of directors for Mercy Health System. (source: /www.co.lucas.oh.us/)