Flags at half-staff to honor the ‘Whistling Justice’ – Florida Politics

Flags at half-staff to honor the ‘Whistling Justice’

The U.S. and state flags are at half-staff to honor the late Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald.

McDonald, in a 1986 photo. (Florida Supreme Court)

The body of McDonald, who died Saturday at the age of 93, lay in state Thursday in the rotunda of the Supreme Court building in Tallahassee.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered flags at half-staff “as a symbol of respect” at the Leon County Courthouse, Tallahassee City Hall, and the Capitol from sunrise to sunset.

The flags at the Court building were separately ordered at half-staff by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.

McDonald served for 15 years on the Court, from 1979-94, including a term as Chief Justice in 1986-88.

“He was well known for his down-to-earth manners, dim view of pomp, and a habit of whistling in the court hallways that earned him the nickname of the ‘Whistling Justice,’ ” the Governor’s Office press release said.

McDonald also served as a circuit Judge in Orange County and an interim judge on the then newly-formed 5th District Court of Appeal. He attended the University of Florida before serving in the Army’s 20th Armored Division during World War II, then got a law degree, also from UF.

He was profiled in the Tallahassee Democrat in 2004 as part of a story on justices who stay in Tallahassee after retirement. He resided with wife Ruth near Lake Jackson in Leon County.

“We’re just comfortable here,” he told the paper. “We’re still happy with this community. It’s a good place to stay.”

McDonald’s obituary is here.

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