Judge Rosemary Beauregard, Sussex County’s first female judge, was immortalized March 24 as a portrait of her was unveiled in the room where she held court for 21 years.
Friends and family joined her in the Sussex County Court of Common Pleas as colleagues praised her years of service.
“She was instrumental in moving the court forward. For that, we owe her a debt of gratitude,” said Chief Judge Alex Smalls. “She was no shrinking violet.”
Sussex County Court of Common Pleas Judge Kenneth Clark Jr. said Beauregard was his mentor when he took his seat on the bench.
“She taught me everything I know. I'll always owe her for that,” he said.
With a heavy caseload built up over the pandemic shutdown, Clark said he asked Beauregard if her retirement is set in stone or whether she might consider coming back to help whittle down the backlog.
She answered with a forceful no, followed by a milder disclaimer. “If you were desperate, I might fill in for an afternoon,” she said.
Beauregard took the opportunity to thank her staff for all the hard work they provided throughout her tenure. “I wish we were saying goodbye with champagne at the Brick Hotel,” she said about a celebration called off by the pandemic when she officially retired in March 2020, and which remains the case more than a year later.
Beauregard earned her law degree from the Delaware Law School of Widener University and worked as a deputy attorney general for five years before moving into private practice with her father at Betts & Beauregard. She was appointed by former Gov. Tom Carper in 1999 to the Court of Common Pleas.
Beauregard said she regrets that her late mother, a great supporter of her throughout her life, had passed and could not participate in the portrait unveiling.
“I know my mother is here watching,” she said. “I know she's happy and proud.”