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June 20, 2022


Michael Ralph Erwin

January 17, 1950 – June 18, 2022

Judge Michael Ralph Erwin passed away June 18, 2022, at his home in Baton Rouge. Judge Erwin retired from the 19th Judicial District Court in July of 2019 after 28 years of service on the criminal bench. Judge Erwin was the longest serving judge in East Baton Rouge Parish. He enjoyed a 40-year career devoted to public service in Baton Rouge.

Mike was born in Franklinton, LA to parents W.W. Erwin and Mary O’Brien along with his three siblings. He graduated from Franklinton High School in 1968 and Southeastern Louisiana University in 1972. After working for the Louisiana Legislative Council, he decided to further his education earning a second Bachelor of Arts in 1976, this time from his beloved LSU, in Criminal Justice. Mike was not done yet. He became a proud graduate of the Southern University Law Center in 1979, earning his Juris Doctorate and was inducted into the Alumni Judicial Hall of Fame in 2012.

After law school, Mike began his public service as an Assistant City Prosecutor in Baton Rouge City Court until 1982. He then served as an Assistant District Attorney for East Baton Rouge Parish for 9 years, earning his way to being appointed Chief of Trials and the First Assistant District Attorney. He was elected to the district court bench in 1991, on which he served for the next 28 years. He was proud of his memberships in many legal organizations, including the committee that was selected to assist in writing the Louisiana Code of Evidence, as well as his service on numerous boards, including his time as Vice President of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association. Besides also being a proud father and grandfather, he was most proud of his service to the community through doing what he loved and what he knew best, the law.

Mike was not only a legal scholar but also a great coach and legal mentor. The youth he once coached and those young lawyers are now adults that will fondly remember his intellect, his sense of humor and his integrity, but most of all his honesty, which taught invaluable lessons that last a lifetime. As an avid sports fan and music lover, Mike had the uncanny ability to remember stats, players, musicians and song lyrics (he did not have the best voice to sing them-but sing them he did).

Mike is survived by his wife of 51 years, Sue Erwin and son, Chris Erwin (Terri), grandchildren Christopher, Hope, Townes and Adley Erwin, his brothers Rusty Erwin (Diane) and Tommy Erwin and sister Mary Anne Erwin. Mike is preceded in death by his parents, W.W. Erwin and Mary O’Brien and his son Michael R. Erwin, Jr. Mike will be missed and fondly remembered by many relatives and friends that were like family as a true public servant that lived life to the fullest. He was one of a kind and one of the best.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial gathering on Thursday, June 23, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. with a brief service at 6:30 p.m. in the chapel of Rabenhorst Funeral Home, 825 Government St., Baton Rouge.

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