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Services for Judge Tarver set for Aug. 5

Memorial services for Judge Pauline Tarver will be held Aug. 5 at Antioch Baptist Church at 8869 Cedar Avenue. Her wake is scheduled for 10 a.m. and services will begin at 11 a.m.

Pauline Tarver, a former Cleveland Municipal Court judge and executive director of the local chapter of the NAACP, died W July 26. She was 63.

Tarver served two terms as a Cleveland Municipal Court judge from 2004 until 2016 and was the executive director of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP from 1982 through 2003.

She graduated from John Carroll University and went on to the Cleveland-Marshall School of Law.

Tarver's early career and volunteer work touched many aspects of the law enforcement and justice fields, including work with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, Women Together and the Battered Women's Shelter, according to a University of Akron profile.

Though she was defeated by Judge Ed Wade during her 2015 bid for re-election, Tarver filed to run for a third term in office last month. She had hoped to unseat Judge Michael Sliwinski, who was appointed to Wade's seat following Wade's death in September 2016.

Tarver's death on July 26 drew condolences from prominent Cleveland figures who encountered her throughout her decades of public service and advocacy work.

U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge said she knew Tarver for many years and considered her a friend.

"From her days with the NAACP to her time on the bench, she always looked out for the 'little guy.' Judge Tarver was hard-working, upstanding, and caring - a true guardian of the law," Fudge said Friday in a news release.

James Hardiman, president of the Cleveland branch of the NAACP, weighed in as well, calling Tarver a tireless advocate who was never deterred by a challenge.

NAACP issued the following statement:

“The officers and executive board members of the Cleveland Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) join the community in our collective sadness at the death of Pauline Tarver.

Tarver served as the Executive Director of the Branch from 1982 to 2003, and was a tireless advocate for the civil rights and equality of all Americans. Her knowledge, commitment and passion for the law more than qualified her for her dream job, Cleveland Municipal Court Judge, a position she held with distinction for twelve years.

Her voice which is now silent will forever be cherished by her NAACP family.”

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson called Tarver a champion of civil rights.

"Judge Tarver gave her time and talents to our city, leading the Cleveland NAACP, advocating for victims of crime," Jackson said Friday in a statement. "She was a respected public servant, colleague and friend. She will be missed."

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