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Bar News - February 19, 2010


In Memoriam: Hon. William W. Treat


Hon. William W. Treat

Judge William Treat, 91, died recently at the Naples Community Hospital in Naples, Florida. Judge Treat was a banker, judge, and diplomat who lived in Stratham, New Hampshire, and Naples, Florida.

Throughout his long career, Judge Treat served as a delegate to the General Assembly of the United Nations, as a probate judge in New Hampshire as a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, was founder and chairman of Bank Meridian, and was the subject of a biography, In the Arena, by Merle Drown.

Treat earned degrees from both the University of Maine and Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He was presented with honorary degrees from both the University of Maine and the University of New Hampshire. He was presented with numerous awards from academic institutions as well, including the Silver Shingle Award from Boston University and the Granite State Citizen Award for Outstanding Citizenship from Plymouth State College.

He attended Boston University Law School, graduating in 1947. He joined the New Hampshire Bar Association in 1949. He practiced law until 1958 when he was appointed to the New Hampshire probate court, where he presided until his retirement in 1983. During his tenure as a probate judge, Treat organized the National College of Probate Judges. serving as its first president. The organization presents an annual award in his name for the judicial officer who has done the most to improve probate law in the United States.

Treat was also active in politics, serving under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, as a public delegate to the General Assembly to the United Nations, where he worked on the Third Committee on issues of human rights. He was elected in 1988 to a position with the United Nationís Human Rights Commission.

Active in the business arena, Treat was an original director of Unitil, Inc., served as chairman of Towle Manufacturing Co., and was a director of Colonial Group, Inc.

Judge Treat was the husband of Vivian Baker, the father of Jonathan Treat and Mary Esther Treat. He was grandfather to Elizabeth Treat Stetson, Hillary Thompson Treat, and Joshua Atwood Treat.

In memory of our colleague Hon. William Treat, the NH Bar Association Board of Governors has made a contribution to the NH Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.

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