Nicholas Kozay Jr., Municipal Court judge

Nicholas Kozay Jr.
Nicholas Kozay Jr.
Posted: August 06, 2014

Nicholas Kozay Jr., 86, of Philadelphia, a retired Common Pleas Court judge, died Thursday, July 31, of congestive heart failure at his home.

While training as a lawyer, Judge Kozay began his career in the Municipal Court system as a clerk.

In the early 1970s, he was appointed jury commissioner. He went on to implement the "one day/one trial" system for jurors.

Under the one-day model, a potential juror comes to the courthouse knowing that if he or she is not chosen for jury duty by the end of the day, the obligation to serve has been met.

His family said that the program was very well-received, and that he traveled to other cities to show officials how to implement it.

Judge Kozay was appointed to Common Pleas Court in 1989 as a Family Court judge. "He worked to protect the rights of children and families," his relatives said in a tribute. "He loved what he did."

Later, he heard juvenile criminal cases for a short period, but returned by choice to Family Court, where he remained until retiring at age 70.

Born in Philadelphia, Judge Kozay graduated from Central High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Maryland in 1950. While there, he played football, including in the Gator Bowl. He also held the school record for the discus and shot put, which stood until five years ago, his family said.

Judge Kozay went to Temple University Law School on a senatorial scholarship, and received his law degree in 1956.

In retirement, he enjoyed golf and spending time with his family.

Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Mary Louise Sencar Kozay; a daughter, Donna Marie; and a grandson.

A life celebration will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5, starting at 11 a.m., followed by a 1 p.m. funeral service, at John F. Givnish Funeral Home, 10975 Academy Rd. Interment is private.

Donations may be made to SPIN, 10501 Drummond Rd., Philadelphia 19154, or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn. 38105.


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