The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 25, 2014

Former judge in Brown County dies

By Edie Schmierbach
The Mankato Free Press

---- — NEW ULM — A retired Brown County District Court judge who was a strong advocate for human rights has died.

Services for Noah S. Rosenbloom, 89, were a week ago at Nora Unitarian Universalist Church in Hanska. He died Jan. 15.

In 1962, Rosenblom was instrumental in helping the victims of the Reverse Freedom Rides whereby Southern segregationists paid bus fare to send African-Americans to northern cities with the promise of nonexistent jobs. He and his wife, Janet, had participated in a program that placed urban youth from the Minneapolis metro area with families in small communities to offer them an alternative to inner-city life.

Gov. Orville Freeman appointed Rosenbloom to the review panel for the Fair Employment Practices Commission in 1956.

Rosenbloom served as a Minnesota District Court judge in Brown County from 1963 until retirement in 1990.

“He was a very kind, careful and deliberate judge. He kept copious records and complicated files,” said Minnesota Appeals Court Judge John Rodenberg, who was a successor to the retired district court judge.

In an era without court files on computers, Rosenbloom used his system of indexing to find his notes from 10 years earlier.

In 1983, Rosenbloom received media attention for his decisions regarding cohabitating couples. A Star Tribune story described the judge’s reaction when he would find out a defendant on probation was living with a girlfriend or boyfriend. He gave the probationer three choices: Get married, move out or go to jail.

After active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1946, Rosenbloom spent 20 years in the Naval Reserve, retiring as a lieutenant commander.

A 1942 graduate of Washburn High School in Minneapolis, he later was an exchange student in London. After he graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School, he began practicing law in Redwood Falls with his father.

Rosenbloom was a dedicated bicyclist and could frequently be seen pedaling around New Ulm. Janet Rosenbloom said her husband and she went on Elderhostel bike tours of Europe and also frequented Minnesota trials.

“Not too long ago, he could still fit into his Navy uniform,” Rodenberg said. “He was very fit. I remember seeing him ride his bike to court all the time.”