Arthur Cromarty, a former Suffolk County judge who oversaw the growth of the county’s court system, died on Thursday. He was 94.
Cromarty held the position of county administrative judge for 17 years, longer than any other judge, and has a court complex named in his honor.
Cromarty was elected a Supreme Court justice in 1966 and appointed administrative judge in 1974. He retired in 1993.
During his tenure, he centralized a number of court facilities in Central Islip and oversaw construction of court facilities in Riverhead that are now called the Arthur M. Cromarty Court Complex.
After retiring from the bench, Cromarty joined the firm now known as Long Tuminello in Bay Shore, where he was of counsel for more than 21 years and came into the firm regularly up until the past year. He represented clients in banking and estate matters, as well as assisting in criminal cases.
A decorated World War II war veteran, Cromarty received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.
He earned his legal degree from St. John’s University School of Law and was admitted to the bar in 1949.
Before joining the bench, Cromarty served as village attorney for the Village of Lindenhurst and a councilman and supervisor for the Town of Babylon.
He was also the presiding officer of the Suffolk County Board of Supervisors, the forerunner to the county legislature, as well as the vice chair of the New York State Thruway Authority.
The county’s current administrative judge, C. Randall Hinrichs, said in a statement that Cromarty was “universally respected by the Suffolk County legal community. He was always gracious and treated everyone he encountered with dignity and respect. We are extremely grateful for his many contributions to Suffolk County and to our Country. He will be deeply missed.”
David Besso, managing partner of Long Tuminello, said it was an honor to have had Cromarty at his firm, adding that the former judge was “one of the nicest people you were ever going to meet. Among all his achievements, he never lost his humility and his common touch. And that made him a friend of everybody.”
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 8, at the Claude R. Boyd-Spencer Funeral Home, 448 West Main Street, Babylon Village, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m.
A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Lindenhurst on Friday, May 9, at 9:45 a.m. with burial to follow at Breslau Cemetery with full military honors.
Cromarty is survived by his daughter, Alice, two sons, Ross and Peter, his two grandchildren and four great grandchildren.