The passing last week of Judge Joseph V. Ferrino marks the end of an era in the East Boston and Winthrop area.
It is fair to say that there is no person who has been more impactful and was more esteemed in the Winthrop and East Boston communities over the course of the past 50 years than Judge Ferrino.
He truly was a giant in so many respects and in so many varied ways.
Judge Ferrino, the son of Sicilian immigrants, was a veteran of World War II who went on to establish a remarkable legal career that culminated with his service as the First Justice of the East Boston District for 20 years from 1976 until his retirement in 1996.
He headed veterans groups and was the founder of patriotic organizations. He also was a leader in the Italian-American community and a volunteer for scores of causes both big and small.
Judge Ferrino epitomized the meaning of the term “community organizer” before it became fashionable.
Yet despite all of his professional accomplishments and personal achievements, Judge Ferrino remained true to his roots. He always was approachable and humble, traits that made him a beloved figure among both the personnel of the East Boston District Court and those who came before him in the courtroom.
Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo summed up how so many of us feel about the loss of this great man:
“Today we honor the memory of Judge Joseph Ferrino, who served in the East Boston District Court for more than two decades. A World War II veteran, Judge Ferrino advocated tirelessly on behalf of veterans and the Boston community as a whole with his work on juvenile justice and his many contributions to the legal community. He was a pioneer of community courts, insisting that the court serve as a resource to people in need. He was a mentor and friend, and my thoughts are with his family and loved ones.”
We know we join with all of our readers in extending our condolences to the Ferrino family.
May he rest in peace.