CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Longtime Kanawha County Circuit Judge Charlie King remembers spending many weekends with his good friend, fellow prosecutor and later fellow circuit judge, Jim Stucky.

Photo courtesy WSAZ-TV

Jim Stucky

“We were both homeowners and we took turns doing projects on each other’s houses. He’d come to my house and we’d do some fix-up or something and I’d go to his house and help him do some fix-up on his house. We did that every weekend, pretty much, for a long time,” King remembered Monday.

King and others at the Kanawha County Judicial Annex were in a reflective mood after learning of Stucky’s death on Sunday. He died at Hospice House in Charleston after a long illness. He retired from the bench last year for medical reasons.

King and Stucky were first together in the Kanawha County Prosecutor’s Office. King says when Stucky came on board King was his supervisor. Stucky was elected prosecutor and King stayed on the staff. They both would later become circuit judges, Stucky’s appointment coming in 1997 from then-Gov. Cecil Underwood.

King said Stucky was top of the line.

“Jim was a person of character, integrity, professional at all times, competent as all get-out at all times, and just a quality person,” King said. “I was privileged to know him.”

The West Virginia Association of Justice praised Stucky in a statement the organization released Monday.

“On behalf of the West Virginia Association for Justice and our members, we are saddened to hear of the passing of Judge Stucky. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends at this difficult time,” association president Stephen New said. “Judge Stucky spent decades in public service for the people of Kanawha County and all of West Virginia. He dedicated his life to our justice system and, for that, all of us are very thankful.”

Judge King said it was difficult to watch Stucky suffer the final few years of his life. He said he would have never left the bench had his health not caused him to do so. He said he’d rather remember Stucky’s strength.

“He was a big guy but because of his health he just sort of deteriorated,” King said. “He was the best. There was no finer person than him.”

Funeral services are expected to take place at the end of the week.