- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

COLUMBIA, Miss. (AP) - Retired Chancery Judge Sebe Dale Jr. died Tuesday at his home in Columbia, court administrators said. He was 94.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Columbia.

Supreme Court Justice Dawn Beam remembered Dale as a mentor.

“Judge Dale lived a life of service to his state and country in the military, as a lawyer, and then as a Chancery Judge. As a lawyer, he taught me respect for the court and love of the law. He retired from the bench just short of 90 years old. When I followed him as chancellor, I constantly reflected on things he taught me. We have lost a humble servant and dear friend today, and Judge Dale is no doubt hearing the words ‘Well done,’” she said.

Dale retired Dec. 31, 2010, after 42 years on the bench, 32 of that as chancellor of the 10th Chancery District, which includes Forrest, Lamar, Marion, Pearl River and Perry counties.

Dale graduated from Columbia public schools, Mississippi College and the University of Mississippi School of Law. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar Association in 1948, and worked in private law practice for 31 years. He also was a World War II veteran and served as a reservist for 27 years before retiring at the rank of colonel in 1981.

“He is my hero,” said Court of Appeals Judge Eugene Fair of Hattiesburg, who served alongside Dale on the 10th Chancery court. “He was one of those people who teaches you how the job is done. He was a judge’s judge. If you want to be a good judge, you try to be like Sebe Dale.”

The building where Dale held court in Columbia, formerly known as the Chancery Court Annex, was renamed in his honor in November 2010, shortly before he retired. At the ceremony, Dale said he followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, John B. Dale, who was president of the Marion County Board of Supervisors when the main courthouse was built in 1905.

“He set a track for me, and my father set a track for me. I’ve done my best to be true to it. Thank you so much,” he said at the ceremony.

Dale was a member of the Mississippi Judicial College Board of Governors for 22 years, 18 of that as chairman. He was a member of the State Penitentiary board for eight years and served as chairman of the Conference of Chancery Judges and the Judicial Advisory Study Committee and as president of the Marion County Bar Association.

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