Robert M. Yacobi, a former Newport News Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge and Williamsburg resident, died Jan. 17.
Yacobi, 85, was known as someone who found innovative ways to help troubled youths during his 30-year tenure as a judge. He retired in 1992.
"I've tried to treat each child who has come before me as an individual," he told the Daily Press shortly after retiring. "I listen to him or her and try to determine programs that will fit their needs and make them more responsible for their actions. If there wasn't a program to fit a particular person, I looked for ways to start one."
The family will receive friends at 10 a.m. Monday at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church. A funeral and mass will take place at noon.
"He was just a really amazing man, and he had a tender, soft side too," said Peggy Yacobi, Robert's wife of 56 years. "He was the strongest man I knew, and he cared about kids, he cared about young people, and he influenced so many people's lives."
As a judge, Yacobi started several programs for troubled youths including New Summits, a wilderness stress program with trips along the Appalachian Trail and white-water rafting.
Another program involved sentencing youths who were arrested for drunkeness to 100 hours in a hospital emergency room, according to Daily Press archives.
Even in his retirement, Yacobi continued to serve as an active member on the Williamsburg Board of Equalization.
Yacobi attended St. Vincent High School, now Peninsula Catholic; received his undergraduate degree from Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, N.C.; and studied law at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. During the Korean War, he served a two-year stint in the Army. He had practiced law since April 1962.
"He was an extraordinary man," Peggy Yacobi said. "He always saw the bright side in everything."
Daily Press archives were used in this report.
Where: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church, 100 Harpersville Road, Newport News.
When: Monday, Jan. 23 - 10 a.m. family will receive friends. Noon: Funeral and mass.