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Supreme Court Special Session Honors the late Betty M. Vitousek

Posted on Dec 5, 2017 in Featured News, News & Reports

District Court Judge Linda K. Luke reminisces about Judge Betty Vitousek at the Special Session convened by the Hawaii Supreme Court in honor of the late Senior Family Court Judge. Looking on from the bench, from left, Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack, Associate Justice Paula A. Nakayama, and Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

The Hawaii Supreme Court convened in special session on Friday, November 17, 2017, to honor the late Betty M. Vitousek, former Senior Family Court Judge.

Family, friends, and colleagues gathered in the Supreme Court courtroom at Aliiolani Hale to hear special guest speakers share their many fond memories of Judge Vitousek. They talked about the profound impact she left on all who knew her, describing her as a pioneer, icon, collaborator, role model, mentor, and the North Star of the Family Court. They also spoke glowingly about her kindness, her compassion, and her commitment to treat everyone with dignity and respect.

Judge Vitousek was also described as a loyal friend, lover of good chocolate, and as someone who admired the simple beauty of yellow daffodils and tulips. The stories about her were both heartfelt and humorous, and the tremendous love and respect for Judge Vitousek permeated every speech. Her son, Randy, summed it up best by saying the most lasting lesson he learned from his mom was to “be guided by kindness.”

Speakers in order of presentation were:  District Court Judge Linda K. Luke; Judge Vitousek’s former law clerk and current family law attorney Rosalyn Loomis; Senior Family Court Judge Catherine H. Remigio; Judge Michael A. Town (ret.); U.S. District Court Senior Judge Helen Gillmor; Wayne Hagen, Dr. Kelly Vitousek, and Roy “Randy” A. Vitousek, III on behalf of the Vitousek family; and Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald.

Senior Family Court Judge Catherine H. Remigio talks about how the late Judge Betty Vitousek shaped the Family Court through her strong leadership, forward thinking programs, and gracious mentoring of judges. Looking on from the bench, from left, Associate Justice Paula A. Nakayama, Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, and Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna.

The Chief Justice also issued a proclamation expressing deep appreciation to Judge Vitousek for her outstanding contributions to Hawaii’s legal community and especially Hawaii’s families.