Updated: June 14, 2021 10:44 PM
Created: June 14, 2021 04:00 PM
After serving as a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge for 38 and a half years, 74-year-old Robert Kressel is retiring from the role that he fell in love with back in 1982.
“It’s a job that I love. I just feel so lucky. How many people have a job that they love? I mean really love,” Kressel said.
A fond farewell for Judge Kressel took place outside Duluth’s Federal building Monday, where many called him a ‘mentor’ and shared how he has inspired them professionally.
“Judge Kressel is just a wonderful, compassionate, funny person,” Anita Miller, Deputy in Charge for the District of Minnesota said. “He has shown us such respect as a court family and we are going to miss him terribly.”
“He taught us all as his law clerks that your reputation is all important, integrity is all important and that’s really stayed with me my entire career,” Lori Vosejpka, Clerk of Court for the District of Minnesota said.
For much of his career, Kressel was based in Minneapolis, but he made monthly trips to Duluth.
He presided over thousands of cases. Notably, confirming the chapter 11 bankruptcy plans of four Roman Catholic Dioceses, including the Dioceses of Duluth.
“I feel like its special to work for my country,” Kressel said.
In addition to working for his country, Kressel is passionate about celebrating his country and fittingly, his birthday falls on Flag Day, which was also Monday. So, he and his colleagues hoisted a flag into the air to celebrate both in addition to celebrating his retirement.
“I always wanted to be thought of as a nice guy, as a good boss, as a fair judge,” Kressel said. “It’s very humbling to hear people say how much they will miss me because I’ll miss them too.”
With the flag flying high outside Duluth's Federal building, colleagues reflected on all Kressel has done to help the court thrive.
“He has taught us to respect the institution of the court—of the federal court system,” Miller said.
Going forward, Kressel hopes to spend time with his wife, children and grandchildren, as well as, travel.