Skip to Main Content

Details | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

Memorial service held for Supreme Court Justice John J. Stamos


September 27, 2017

The Illinois Supreme Court hosted a memorial service in honor of the late Justice John J. Stamos on September 20, 2017, in Springfield.

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier gave the opening and closing remarks with tributes given by Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis; the Hon. Benjamin K. Miller, a former Supreme Court Justice; the Honorable Gino L. DiVito, a former Appellate Justice; Mr. James J. Stamos, Esquire, of Stamos & Trucco LLP, the son of Justice Stamos; and the Hon. Russell W. Hartigan, a former Cook County Circuit Judge and current President of the Illinois State Bar Association.

A native of Chicago's South Side, Stamos served in the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II and graduated from the DePaul University College of Law in 1948. Stamos was admitted to the bar in 1949 and served as assistant corporation counsel for the city of Chicago before joining the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in 1954. Stamos served in a number of roles with the state's attorney office and was appointed in 1966 as Cook County State's Attorney.

In 1968, Stamos was elected to the First District Appellate Court of Illinois and would serve in that role for 20 years. Stamos was appointed as a Justice to the Illinois Supreme Court in 1988 following the resignation of Justice Seymour Simon. He retired from the bench in 1990 to work with his son James J. Stamos at the Stamos & Trucco law firm where he served as counsel.

Among the awards and accolades Stamos received in his career were the Distinguished Service Award from the National District Attorneys Association, the Professional Achievement Award from the Illinois State’s Attorneys Association, and the Liberty Bell Award from the Federal Bar Association.

Stamos was preceded in death by his first wife, Helen, in 1981. He is survived by his second wife, Mary Stamos, and children, James J. Stamos of Chicago, Theo Stamos of Arlington, Va., Colleen Stamos of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Jana DiMartino of Wailea, Hawaii, and four grandchildren.