Orleans Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter succumbs to stroke complications

By Charmaine Little | May 21, 2018

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter has passed away due to complications from a stroke, according to The Times-Picayune.

Jupiter, who was in her second term as civil district court judge, died Friday.

Jupiter was said to be “very ill” for months as her husband, Pat Bryant, confirmed she suffered a stroke on Jan. 7, the Times-Picayune reported. Her health complications date back to 2015 when she had a heart attack. She was in her chambers at the time of that incident. A temporary replacement, Judge Melvin Zeno, filled in for her shortly after she was hospitalized for her stroke in January per the Orleans civil court’s chief judge’s request, the Louisiana Record previously reported.

She was placed in a coma following her stroke. Bryant said Jupiter came to roughly two months later, ready to embark on her journey to recovery.

Judge Clare Jupiter  

“She worked hard to regain what she had lost to the point that she could move all of her limbs and had been accepted into rehab,” Bryant told The Times-Picayune. “She took her recovery very seriously.”

Before she began her life as a judge, Jupiter was an attorney for the Orleans Parish School Board. She also previously worked as a reporter for The States-Item before beginning law school.

While she was born in Chicago, she called New Orleans home after being raised in the city. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy and went on to earn a degree from Yale University. She studied law and graduated with a law degree from Duke University.

She was first elected as Civil District Court Judge in November 2011. She was a named partner at Bryan and Jupiter Law Firm at the time.

“I just wanted to be a judge, not right away, but eventually, for a really long time because they are really just so respected and appreciated,” Jupiter told the Louisiana Record after she won the election.

She is survived by her son, Kwame Bryant, and daughter, Nia Bryant. She also has six brothers, four sisters and two grandchildren.

A wake to celebrate her life is scheduled for Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at D.W. Rhodes Funeral Home. The funeral is scheduled for Friday, May 25 at 10 a.m. at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Visitation is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

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