Former Brevard County Judge Vincent G. Torpy Jr. Passes Away at Age 64, Wrote More Than 700 Majority Opinions
By Wayne Ivey, Brevard County Sheriff // January 1, 2020
celebration of life will be held Jan. 10 at Melbourne Church of Christ
ABOVE VIDEO: Longtime Brevard County resident and honored jurist, 64-year-old Judge Vincent G. Torpy Jr., unexpectedly passed away this past Monday.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – This week our agency lost a beloved and amazing family member with the death of 64-year-old Judge Vincent G. Torpy Jr.
A longtime Brevard County resident and honored jurist, Judge Torpy unexpectedly passed away this past Monday.
Judge Torpy is survived by his wife Julie of over 42-years, son Douglas who is a local Brevard County businessman, daughter Kristina who currently serves as a JAG Officer in the United States Air Force, son Vincent who also serves our country as a Pilot in the Air Force, brother Wayne, a retired Police Chief, and his 3 grandchildren, Elizabeth, Victoria, and Milo.
Vince spent his childhood years growing up in Carmel, New York where he worked in his father’s grocery store, and later at the local courthouse.
That experience is where he first developed an interest in law, which helped to guide him towards a career in public service.
After moving to Brevard County in 1973 with his family, Vince attended the Police Academy at Brevard Community College and was later hired as a Police Officer for the City of Indialantic.
Vince quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant, and subsequently served as second in command of the agency.
In 1981, after achieving his Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Services from the University of Central Florida, Vince left law enforcement to attend Florida State University’s Law School. Vince proudly finished second in his class and served as the editor of the Law Review.
Upon returning to Brevard County, Vince practiced Law with Frese, Nash and Torpy, P.A., earning numerous accolades.
Vince also served eight years as the General Counsel for the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, working with his close friend Sheriff Phil Williams.
In 1999 Vince was appointed as a Brevard County Circuit Court Judge by Governor Jeb Bush where he oversaw criminal and civil cases for four years before being appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeals in 2003.
During his eminent career with the Fifth DCA, Judge Torpy wrote over 700 majority opinions. His decisions have been upheld by not only the Florida Supreme Court but also the United States Supreme Court.
I can personally tell you Judge Torpy played a critical role in the development of many of Brevard County’s law enforcement officers over the years, where he taught legal studies and ethics at the Law Enforcement Academy.
As our Chief Deputy Doug Waller said, “Judge Torpy will be missed, but not forgotten! He was a man of honor who inspired so many of today’s public safety community to serve with character, meaning and distinction!”
Brevard County Chief Judge Lisa Davidson perhaps summed it up best when she said, “The Eighteenth Judicial Circuit is mourning the loss of an esteemed colleague and dear friend. Judge Torpy will be remembered as a scholarly, hardworking jurist with a terrific sense of humor.
Although he was appointed to the Fifth DCA in 2003, he remained part of our 18th circuit family. Our hearts go out to his family as they deal with this sudden and tragic loss.”
And the words of Chief Judge Kerry I. Evander of the Fifth District Court of Appeal truly captured the essence of Judge Torpy’s career when he said, “He was a leader on our court, not only during his time as Chief Judge but during his entire tenure. He was respected for his legal acumen, clarity of thought and ability to persuade.
Many other of his opinions were adopted by our sister courts of appeal, and his work in one high profile case was validated in an opinion from the United States Supreme Court.”
After enjoying a long and stellar career of public service, Judge Torpy retired and moved to the mountains of North Carolina in 2018 to enjoy a well-deserved retirement.
Vince enjoyed a wonderful life with an amazing family and many friends. He was a source of inspiration and motivation to all those he touched.
He enjoyed motorcycle riding, skiing, the outdoors, but most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He will be missed dearly by all that called him husband, father, brother, grandfather, uncle, mentor, partner and friend.
Judge Torpy proudly served the citizens of Brevard County and the State of Florida, leaving a legacy of law enforcement officers, attorneys and judges who were all blessed to have received his guidance and mentorship.
A celebration of life will be held on Friday, January 10, 2020, 10 a.m., at the Melbourne Church of Christ, 810 Hollywood Blvd., West Melbourne, Florida.
In honor of Judge Torpy’s outstanding public safety legacy and service to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, I have authorized our agency personnel to wear mourning bands on January 10, 2020.
Please keep Julie and their family in your thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time.
– Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey
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