Former Elected Frontier County Judge Ron Werkmeister Passes Away

Former Elected Frontier County Judge Ron Werkmeister Passes Away

Ronald L. Werkmeister passed away on December 22, 2022.  He served as an elected non-lawyer judge in Frontier County beginning January 1969, and, at the age of 26, was the youngest to hold the position of judge in Nebraska.  (Currently, each person must be a U.S. citizen, be at least 30 years of age, and have practiced law a minimum of 5 years in the State of Nebraska. The person must also be admitted to practice before the Nebraska Supreme Court.)

In 1973 Werkmeister was appointed “associate county judge,” and in 1979, he was named “clerk magistrate” when legislation changed the title of that position.  

Werkmeister was appointed deputy clerk of the Frontier County District Court in 1976 in addition to his responsibilities to the county court.  This pioneered the practice of the clerk magistrate also serving the district court to improve efficiency and consistency in the courts.  As of 2022, ten counties have followed Frontier County’s lead in appointing the county court clerk magistrate to serve as ex officio clerk of the district court. 

In 2017, Werkmeister was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Chief Justice Mike Heavican for his service to the judicial branch.  He served as Judge and Clerk Magistrate for 52 years until retiring in 2020.

Full obituary through Blase-Strauser Memorial:  Ronald Werkmeister