Justice Frank Gerein dedicated his life to the law
Justice Frank Gerein was dedicated to the law for five decades, and his passion that inspired many people around him never waned.
At the age of 75, his long and highly regarded law career came to an end in April. Gerein died on Sunday. Justice Catherine Dawson expressed regret Monday that Gerein wasn’t able to enjoy more of his retirement after dedicating his life to the justice system in Regina and Saskatchewan.
“His absolute commitment to justice for people was unwavering,” Dawson said.
“There was never any case that was not important. It didn’t matter the size or the complexity, each one was important. To see someone of that many years ... to still have that same commitment, insight and dedication, it truly is inspiring.”
Gerein was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1964 and practised in Regina until December 1980, when he was appointed as a judge for the District Court for Saskatchewan. He continued to sit when that court was merged in 1981 with Court of Queen’s Bench.
From 2000 to 2005, Gerein served as chief justice of Court of Queen’s Bench for the province. He said he would serve a five-year term and did, all the while leading as an example of civility, patience and empathy.
“He had an unlimited capacity for work,” Dawson said. “You would often find him working early, early in the morning before the crack of dawn and late, late at night.”
Despite his passion and dedication to his job, she described him as easygoing and courteous with a good sense of humour.
When Gerein’s term as chief justice was over in 2005, he continued to serve as a justice with the same fervour.
Current Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Martel Popescul remembers how important it was to receive a specific phone call from Gerein.
“One always wonders, perhaps, how a former chief is going to treat a new chief,” Popescul said. “I remember shortly after I was appointed, he gave me a call and it sticks out in my mind that he called me ‘Chief.’ ”
Popescul said the recognition by someone with Gerein’s reputation and experience was the moment when the seriousness of his new title was solidified.
“The type of person as a chief that I am, I’m attempting to model myself after him because he was that type of guy,” Popescul said.
Gerein is survived by his wife Eileen, son Anthony and daughters Michelle and Katherine.
A remembrance service date has not yet been set.
Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Frank Gerein died on Sunday. He retired in April at age 75.