DES MOINES, Iowa — Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht has passed away after battling melanoma.
Hecht stepped down from the court in December of 2018 because of his illness.
The Iowa Judicial Branch issued a statement about Hecht’s passing Wednesday afternoon:
The justices of the Iowa Supreme Court, former colleagues, and friends remember Iowa Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht, Sloan, today as a kind, thoughtful jurist with a passion for the law and an unwavering commitment to the rule of law.
Justice Hecht served from 2006 until he resigned from the supreme court in December 2018 while receiving treatment for melanoma in Sioux City and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
After discussions with his family, Justice Hecht determined it was essential for him to commit all of his energy to battling the disease.
“I always looked forward to spending time with Daryl when we both would travel to Des Moines for oral arguments and meetings,” Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Cady said. “He was an enthusiastic student of the law and a strong advocate for his position when we discussed cases. He was also a great friend and we spent many hours talking about our families and events in our lives. I will miss him, greatly.”
Raised on a family farm near Lytton, Iowa, Justice Hecht received his bachelor’s degree from Morningside College in 1974 and his J.D. degree from the University of South Dakota in 1977. He received his L.L.M. degree from the University of Virginia Law School in 2004. Justice Hecht practiced law in Sioux City for twenty-two years before his appointment to the court of appeals in 1999 where he served until his appointment to the supreme court in 2006.
Justice Hecht is a past president of the Iowa Association for Justice. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Home and Family Services, the Morningside College Alumni Association, the Woodbury County Judicial Magistrate Nominating Commission, and the Woodbury County Compensation Commission. Justice Hecht served as chairperson for the Iowa Civil Justice Reform Task Force. The task force final report was presented to the Iowa Supreme Court on January 30, 2012. Justice Hecht was also involved in the study of civil justice reform at the national level. He served as a member of the Civil Justice Improvement Committee appointed by the Conference of Chief Justices.
Justice Hecht is survived by his wife, two daughters, and three grandchildren.