John Roll, the Arizona federal judge killed Saturday by a gunman at a political event, was seen in the legal community as a conservative and even-handed jurist and to those who knew him personally, a man devoted to his family and his Roman Catholic faith.

“He was a very dedicated judge–calm, reasonable, dispassionate and fair,” said Rebecca White Berch, chief justice of the Arizona Supreme Court. “He will be sorely missed.”

Judge Roll, 63 years old, attended the event Saturday in Tucson to thank Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for signing a letter to Judge Alex Kozinski, the chief judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, according to Michael Daly Hawkins, a judge on the court.

The letter was intended to help persuade the court to declare his federal district a judicial emergency due to the high number of immigration cases that were being heard there. Such a declaration would trigger measures such as allowing judges to delay a trial because of strained resources.

Read the complete Wall Street Journal story, “Family, Colleagues Grieve for Judge.”