Portrait Dedication Ceremony for the Honorable Dean Whipple

On September 11, 2009, the United States District Court, Western District of Missouri, held a Portrait DedicaThe Honorable Dean Whippletion Ceremony for the Honorable Dean Whipple. To begin the ceremony, Chief Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. welcomed guests to the courthouse, including a large group of former law clerks and a strong contingent from Lebanon, Missouri.

District Judge Gary Fenner spoke first, noting Judge Whipple’s farm in Lebanon and his time there as a former Circuit Judge. Judge Fenner concluded, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” District Judge Richard Dorr spoke of the traits that come to mind when he thought of Dean Whipple: his dedication to hard work, his willingness to take the time to assist other Judges whenever called upon, and his commitment to spending government money wisely - just as if it was his own. Retired Circuit Court Judge Tom Clark kept the stories rolling with his description of Judge Whipple as a, “Judicial Eagle Scout,” and he regaled the audience with an ode penned by Judge Whipple’s friends and running mates.

District Judge Greg Kays read a letter from Senator Jack Danforth recalling his enthusiastic recommendation of Judge Whipple to be appointed to the federal bench. Danforth told Judge Whipple that although he had presided over difficult, complex and high profile cases, “you have never failed to do the right thing.”

On behalf of the Kansas City Missouri Bar Association, President-Elect Tom Bender presented the portrait of the Judge to the Court for hanging in the ceremonial courtroom on the 8th Floor of the Courthouse.

The ceremony concluded with Judge Whipple’s heartfelt thanks to his friends and family and to staff members, past and present, for their hard work and dedication over the years. He spoke of his admiration for the legal profession and the privilege of working with lawyers.  In addition, he spoke of his love of trial work and his strong belief that it is important for everyone to receive their fair day in court.

After the ceremony, guests joined the Judge and his wife Karen for a reception in the Bell Room.

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