By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PRESTO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. passed away on Friday.

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“I was saddened to hear of the death of former Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. His distinguished legal career, and interest in public service, benefitted our community. He served as solicitor to the county’s Authority for Improvements in Municipalities (AIM) before joining the Court of Common Pleas, then the PA Supreme Court before assuming the role of Chief Justice,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald in a statement. “His dedication to the legal profession coupled with community service can be seen in his son, our District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala, Jr. Our deepest sympathies to the District Attorney and the entire Zappala family on their loss.”

According to an obituary posted, former Chief Justice Stephen A. Zappala Sr. was 88 years old.

He first joined the Allegheny Court Court of Common Pleas in 1979 and shortly moved on to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In 2001, he was appointed to be the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court.

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He was also the father of Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement:

“Chief Justice Zappala was an exemplary public servant, a giant in the legal profession and a stalwart leader of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Many of his opinions from the bench still guide the work of lawyers and the courts to this day. His passing is first and foremost, a tremendous and irreplaceable loss for the District Attorney and the entire Zappala family, as well as a loss for the residents of Allegheny County and the citizens of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”

Zappala Sr.’s service to this country was not just judicial — he also served in the US Army before being honorably discharged.

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Visitations and a funeral service will be held later this week.