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The funeral for former N.B. chief justice Stuart Stratton will be held on Wednesday. ((Courtesy of Brenan's Funeral Home))

New Brunswick's legal community is mourning the death of former chief justice Stuart Stratton, who died in Saint John Saturday, following a brief illness.

He was 86.   Stratton was highly regarded in the legal community, both as a jurist and a person, said Moncton lawyer James Letcher.

"In and out of court," he said. "I had gone to a couple of presentations that he gave for lawyers and he was quite funny actually. He actually could have made it as a stand-up comic, believe it or not. He had a great sense of humour."

After Stratton retired from the bench, he was appointed by the government of Nova Scotia to lead an independent investigation into allegations of abuse at five provincial institutions.

He was later appointed chairman of the New Brunswick Police Commission in 1995.

Stratton also served as the province's first conflict of interest commissioner from 2000 until 2005.

Stratton, who was born in Moncton, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University in 1953 and was called to the bar of both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

In 1975, Stratton was appointed a justice of the trial division of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick in Saint John. He was appointed to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal in Fredericton in 1980, and chief justice of New Brunswick in 1984.

Stratton also served as a Moncton city councillor between 1969 and 1971.

Stratton is survived by his wife of 61 years, H. Ruth (Ellis) Stratton, four children, his sister-in-law, several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation is being held at Brenan’s Funeral Home in Saint John, at 111 Paradise Row, Monday and Tuesday.

The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, at 2 p.m. at Trinity Anglican Church.

Interment will take place at a later date in Greenwood Cemetery, in Pointe du Chêne, N.B.