In Remembrance: Judge Ruth Klotz, former Dickinson Attorney

In Remembrance: Judge Ruth Klotz, former Dickinson Attorney

Posted on 12/02/2020 at 04:57 PM by The Newsroom

Ruth Klotz, former Dickinson Law attorney, and longtime probate judge passed away at the age of 98 from complications of COVID-19 on November 14, 2020. 

“In a time when men dominated the legal field, she became the first probate judge in the State of Iowa in 1978. To have such a role model and mentor opened many women to the possibility of law and the judiciary as an intended profession. 
However, it was more than just her unique status as a female judge which made her stand out among her peers. It was her dedication, her mental acuity, and warm disposition which was admired. Further, she actively mentored interns and law clerks to encourage the next generation of lawyers and judges.”
--Written by nominator Celene Gogerty for the 2019 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame

As a woman attorney and judge, Judge Klotz was an inspiration to two generations of women in the law in Iowa. She was the only woman to graduate with her 1955 Drake Law School Class and she mentored many female judges and lawyers throughout her career.

Professionally, she had a solo practice in Hampton, then joined Dickinson Law, followed by several years with Bankers Trust. She was appointed to the bench as Probate Referee for the 5th Iowa Circuit in 1978 and retired as an Associate Judge in 2013 at the age of 90.

In 2019, Judge Ruth Klotz was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame

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Among her accolades, Klotz was recognized for her service by the Iowa Organization of Women Attorneys’ Arabella Mansfield Award, the Polk County Bar Association's Lifetime of Service Award, and she was named the Drake Law School’s 1999 Alumna of the Year. In 2019, she was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame.

There will be a private burial service, followed by a public memorial service at a later date. 

A Des Moines Register article honoring Judge Klotz can her found here. Her obituary can be found here.  

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