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Huddleston, Margaret Mary Ryan

Posted: Mon 3:03 PM, Jan 06, 2014
Funeral Home: J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel
Honorable Judge Margaret Mary Ryan Huddleston, 64, died Jan. 3, 2014, in Bowling Green after a courageous battle with cancer beginning with Hodgkin’s Disease in 1978.

Judge Huddleston was born Dec. 27, 1949, in Chicago to the late Margaret Veronica (Johnson) and Edward Lawrence Ryan. She was preceded in death by her husband, Philip Irl Huddleston in 2001. Judge Huddleston received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Western Kentucky University, her nursing degree from Crouse-Irving Hospital College of Nursing, Syracuse and her juris doctorate from Chase College of Law.

Judge Huddleston presided over the Warren County Circuit Family Court, Division III since her appointment by Gov. Paul Patton in 1998, and subsequent election in 1999 and re-election in 2007. Huddleston also served as Chief Judge from 2003 to 2005. Judge Huddleston was the first female to serve as a circuit judge in the over 200-year existence of the Warren Circuit Court. She received the Bowling Green Human Rights Commission Women’s First Award in 1999.

Huddleston’s judicial administrative duties included serving on the Family Court Workflow Advisory Committee, Juvenile Justice Advisory Board’s Subcommittee on Equity and Justice for All Youths and the Judicial Child Fatality Review Committee. Her expertise on issues involving child support, child abuse and domestic violence has been recognized by the legal services community and the Kentucky Bar Association.

Judge Huddleston was instrumental in starting, among other projects, the Warren Family Court Council, the Warren County Truancy Diversion Project, the Warren Family Court Turn-It-Around program, the Warren Family Court Parent Partnership Project, the Warren Family Court Mediation Program, the Warren County CASA program and the Warren Family Court Task Force on Child Lethality Risk. Huddleston served on the Governor’s Task Force on the Economic Status of Kentucky’s Women in 2002.

Margaret dedicated her professional life to service. Upon graduation from WKU with a business administration degree, she joined the national Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program and served in the Appalachian region (Bell County) of Kentucky. Immediately following her years in VISTA, Margaret earned her nursing degree and practiced as a registered nurse in critical care at Norton Hospital in Louisville. Upon earning her juris doctorate from Salmon P. Chase College of Law she opened a private practice in Covington. In 1985, she returned to her home in Bowling Green, where she worked as an attorney for the Cumberland Trace Legal Services for 13 years until her appointment to the Warren Circuit Court in 1998.

Huddleston was a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Bowling Green-Warren County Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association, the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association Child Fatality Committee, the Advisory Board of the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the Family Enrichment Center Commission for the Safe Haven Visitation Center. She was past-chairwoman of the Warren County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Council.

Margaret enjoyed music, reading, sailing and traveling abroad. She was past-president and member of the Board of Directors of the Bowling Green Chamber Orchestra (now Orchestra Kentucky). She was a member of the Women’s President Club, the Guild Book Club, Port Oliver Yacht Club and Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Margaret is survived by her son, Ryan Wermeling, M.D. and his wife, Maddie Schueler; two stepdaughters, Cameron Huddleston Lebedinsky (Alex) and Robin Huddleston (Chris); close friend Marc Evans; siblings Ed (Lorraine) Ryan, Marianne (David) Hamilton, Kathleen (Benton) Foust and Jo-Anne Ryan (Bill) Davis; three stepgrandchildren; nieces and nephews, Natalie Ryan, Kathryn Davis Lasoski, Meghan Davis, William and Duncan Hamilton, Robert and Sydnie Foust.

Margaret will best be remembered for being a loving dedicated mother and for her compassion for families, providing a voice for those in need and for her selfless dedicated service to the community.

Funeral Mass will be conducted at noon Wednesday at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, with burial to follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday with a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. at J.C. Kirby & Son, Lovers Lane chapel. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Pentecost Room at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

The family wishes to extend their gratitude for the tremendous support provided by her friends and the community she served. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret Ryan Huddleston Scholarship Fund, c/o Independence Bank, 1950 Scottsville Road, Bowling Green, KY 42104 or to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Central Kentucky, Inc., P.O. Box 867, Bowling Green, KY 42102.
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