The Honorable John R. DeSheplo

the honorable john desheplo

June 23, 1942 ~ December 26, 2021

The Honorable John R. DeSheplo, age 79, of Fort Lee, passed peacefully surrounded by his loving family at home on Sunday December 26, 2021. Born in Long Branch, He earned his bachelor's degree at Fairleigh Dickinson and attended Catholic University Law School where he earned his degree. He practiced law from his legal office in Fort Lee and also owned a title insurance company named Bridgeview Abstract, Inc. He was best known in Fort Lee as the Fort Lee Municipal Judge where he served for over 40 years, he also proudly served as the Leonia Municipal Judge for over 20 years.

Beloved husband of Caroline (nee: Schwab). Devoted father of Leanna DeSheplo, Peter DeSheplo, and Jarrett D'Arco. Adored grandfather of Lenny and Maddy. Dear brother of the late Joan DeSheplo.

The family will receive their friends on Wednesday 3-7 pm at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street "opposite the Fort Lee Library". All are asked to assemble at George Washington Memorial Park (Paramus) on Thursday at 11 am for graveside services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Closter Animal Welfare Society "C.L.A.W.S." For condolences, directions, or information (201) 944-0100 or


Funeral Service: December 30, 2021 11:00 am

George Washington Memorial Park.
Paramus & Century Roads
Paramus, NJ 07653-0021

Visitation at Funeral Home: December 29, 2021 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Final Resting Place:

George Washington Memorial Park.
Paramus & Century Roads
Paramus, NJ 07653-0021

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Memories Timeline


  1. A man who defined yhe term of “Honorable” in life, his profession and his family. He will be missed by all who had the fortune of knowing him.

  2. I am so sorry to hear this. I remember his home with Linda on Myrtle Ave in the70’s. It was a warm, welcoming gathering place.
    I will never forget his sharp wit, warm smile. He helped me with a paper on juvenile rights in high school and had a sort of open door for kids who needed help. Thank you John!

  3. Judge DeSheplo was a kind man, a knowledgeable judge and the embodiment of what an impactful person should be. As an attorney appearing regularly in his courtroom his topical stories, compassion, wit and wisdom captivated the room and he made me a better lawyer and a better person for having met him. There’s definitely a special place in heaven for him. May his family draw some solace in the fact that he positively impacted thousands (if not tens of thousands) of people throughout his career.

  4. My deepest sympathy and condolences to the DeSheplo family. John was a great judge and a great man. He embodied all the qualities anyone could hope for in a judge. He was intelligent. He understood the law and the court’s role as its keeper. He had a healthy dose of common sense and never lost sight of fairness and justice. I was blessed and fortunate to have appeared before John as Fort Lee’s Municipal Prosecutor for 14 years. I learned so much from John during those years. Words alone are inadequate to describe the life that brought so much to us all. John was unique. Uniquely qualified to serve as a judge. Uniquely strong, caring and just. He was like no other.

    Philip Tornetta

  5. John and his late wife, Linda were incredibly supportive of me and my sisters many years ago. John has always been a constant in my life, he was a warm hearted soul with a huge heart and great sense of humor. Blessings and love to the family.

  6. My sincere condolences to the DeSheplo Family. What a wonderful Man John was. Whenever we spoke he always had a smile to share. May our Long Time Fort Lee Judge Rest in Eternal Peace. He was always so nice to my son.

  7. John was not only a great Judge but also a great neighbor and friend. He married my sister Anna who adored him & Tom & I. There was no one else we would have wanted do the honor. My heart goes out his family. Thinking of you Leanna & Peter. Sincerely, Jean Sweeney

  8. A tru gentleman.. the man did so much for us as kids and for fort lee .. we honor and thank him and his family a tru legend who's touch will be missed

  9. Your Dad and Grandpa will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. While appearing in court before him was always a great experience, my favorite memories of him will always be the fun holiday dinners at Roberto’s in the Bronx but even more standing with him on Lemoine Avenue overlooking the DWI checkpoint during holidays. His quick wit, humility, sense of fairness and all around “goodliness” will be missed by all who met him. Take comfort in your memories and knowing that generations of Fort Lee residents, (both permanent and in some cases for about two hours during a court session) will remember him fondly.

  10. I'm so sorry to hear that my dear friend has passed. I have so many fond memories of John professionally and personally like him swearing me in as the Borough Assessor, marrying me outside on the Cliffs in one foot of snow, and spending many hours with him golfing or playing tennis while listening to his wisdom. John was more than a friend and sometimes felt like my big brother. I'm truly blessed to have known him.

  11. Dear Caroline and family- We are heartbroken. John was generous, kind, and helpful to anyone who asked. Most importantly he was an amazing Dad, grandfather and the best husband to our cousin. He will be missed tremendously. We are so grateful he was a part of our family. We love you forever John… Julianne , Rich and Alexandra Albano

  12. I worked with John for eight years at the Ft. Lee Municipal Court; first while he was prosecutor and later when he became judge. There was never a more fair, thoughtful individual. We were also friends. My most sincere condolences to Leanna and Peter and to all his friends and family members. He was truly a remarkable man and will be greatly missed.

  13. Such a wonderful, kind and caring man. His years of dedication to our Borough and his sincere efforts to help people made a huge impact on all who appeared before him. He will surely be missed.

    Cathy LoFaro and Edward Rose and Family

  14. I only knew him for few years .My office is next to his office ,He never missed a opportunity to open my door to say hello sometimes by bringing my mail. , It broke my heart seeing him hardly walking in the hallway in past year or so ,even dough it was obvious that he didn’t feel good but he never stop smiling and asking me how was I doing,
    He was a great man and He will be missed.
    Ali Memar

  15. It was always a pleasure to appear in front of Judge DeSheplo. He treated everyone with kindness and respect and made you feel welcome in his courtroom. He will be missed.

  16. Judge De Sheplo was the first New Jersey Judge,I ever appeared before.(January 1977)> Since then I appeared before him many times. He was a kind and compassionate man who will be sorely missed.
    Edward S. Zizmor

  17. It was always a pleasure to appear before Judge DeSheplo. It is a loss for the community. My condolences to his family and friends.

  18. John was a warm compassionate man. He tried to help and save my clients, most from drug addiction. Vinnie Basile

  19. Leanna and Peter, my Condolences to you both, John was the finest man I ever had the honor to have known and associate He will always be in my prayers. A real good man!

  20. John was one of the most compassionate persons I had ever met. He ruled the Ft. Lee Court with grace, wit and charm. He always tried to help the persons that came before him with their problems. He never forgot a name or a face. John was an institution in Ft. Lee. He will be sorely missed.

    John Weichsel

  21. Sending my Prayers to the entire family. John was like a father to me. During court on June 2010 he gave me a homework for me to do because I got seven tickets, two in which were two DWI. Due to me driving under the influence of alcohol and under a blackout I almost died that night and ended up with John as my judge. He gave me a homework that was for me to see the movie “Days os wines and roses” I went home that day and started searching for the movie. I couldn’t find it and I told my sponsor about the request and she told me she had the movie. I watched the movie and on July 13, 2010 I went back to court and John remembered me and asked me a summary of the movie, I told him “as a good student I saw the movie and I learned a lot about sobriety. After this encounter I started going to AA and stayed sober ever since. Every year when I celebrate I sent him a thank you card expressing my gratitude to him. Today I want to tell his entire family that I will always remember John as a spiritual dad who guided me into recovery. John you will always be missed and inside our hearts!!! Today I know you are in Heaven talking to God about us because you were an angel walking on earth and I know today you are in Heaven praising the Lord together with the angels!!!

  22. My sincere condolences to the DeSheplo family. I fist met John as he became a customer, but that changed real fast as he became a friend. John was one of the nicest people that I have had the pleasure to work with in my 45 years in business. A true gentleman. May he rest in peace.

    John Quaregna of Jay Cue Construction Company

  23. I met John over 45 years ago. We worked together at Pioneer Title in Hackensack. He was very kind to me having just come to the United States a few months before. He drove me to and from work and we would become dear friends. He was a special man. He loved his family dearly and my heart goes out to his wife, children and extended family members. I am blessed to have known him and the difference he made to my life.

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