Dennis Jasper was a staple at the Scott County Courthouse.
“You just come in every morning and he’d be up there,” District Court Judge Mary Howes said of the longtime attorney and magistrate.
Howes said that Jasper “back in the day” would sit in on associate court pretrial conferences and “every attorney that came in, he’d have some funny comment on their case.”
“He’d be like, ‘Oh God, you’re not going to trial with that,’” she said. “Or the other thing he would say is ‘you’re not going to take a plea on that. I can beat that. Let me talk to your client.’”
Howes said it got be that 10:30 a.m. on Thursdays was the best time to be at the courthouse.
“A lot of it was because of Dennis’ spirit of fun,” she said. “He always could look at the lighter side of the law and help everybody else do that too.”
Jasper, 69, of Bettendorf, died unexpectedly July 21 at Trinity Bettendorf.
On Friday, his fellow magistrates and attorneys, judges, courthouse staff, family and friends gathered in the magistrate courtroom on the first-floor of the courthouse to dedicate a memorial bench in his honor.
The engraved bench now sits near a tree on the Ripley Street side of the courthouse.
The Scott County Bar Association also presented his sons, Tim and Paul, and daughter, Lynne Brammeier, with a memorial plaque.
A second plaque will hang in the magistrate courtroom on the first-floor of the courthouse.
“We knew how great of a man he was and, just as a family how great he was, but to see the outpouring of support from people in the community has really meant a lot,” Brammeier, a local attorney, said.
Jasper, a lifelong Quad-City resident, began practicing law in 1974 and served as a magistrate for more than a decade before his death. He also was the longtime secretary of the bar association.
“He was so much more than the secretary of the bar association,” Howes said Friday during a short dedication ceremony. “He was the face of the bar association for many because of his helpfulness and kindness to other attorneys.”
He also was someone who brought some fun to the courthouse.
During the holiday, Jasper was Santa Claus for the courthouse and bought pizza and gave away extravagant door prizes.
“There’s so many things that Dennis did and contributed around here without being asked,” she said.
Howes called Jasper a “renaissance man” who would cross-stitch elaborate Christmas stockings for people and had 300 varieties of hostas in his yard.
He also was proud of the family he raised with his wife,
“He was a wonderful man and he had a lot of great qualities outside and inside the courthouse,” Brammeier said. “To be an attorney and a magistrate, it meant a lot to him and he had a lot of pride in that.”