by Walter Fox

Armand Della Porta, 95, a retired Philadelphia judge and a longtime civic volunteer, died Nov. 4 of complications from a series of strokes at his home in Chestnut Hill.

Judge Della Porta had served as a trial judge in Common Pleas Court from 1971 to 1993 and as a senior judge in Commonwealth Court from 1993 until his retirement in 1995.

In Common Pleas Court he first presided over homicide cases in the criminal division, and in the last 12 years, over civil litigation.

Judge Della Porta was well-known for settling a large number of cases without a trial, and wrote and lectured widely on this topic. He also was known for his fairness and concern for defendants. He was chairman of a judges’ committee on sentencing guidelines for the Common Pleas Court and was a member of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges.

A longtime volunteer, he was chairman of the board of Northwestern Human Services from 1969 to 2000, and was a trustee of the Free Library of Philadelphia from 1971 to 1981. He also served on the board of governors of the St. Thomas More Society, an organization of Catholic lawyers, and was a member of the Justinian Society and the American Justinian Society of Jurists.

In recognition of his long service, he received the Papal Honor of the Knight of St. Gregory in 1998 and the St. Thomas More Society Award in 1983.

Judge Della Porta also active at Our Mother of Consolation Church in Chestnut Hill, where, until he was 87, he organized outdoor Stations of the Cross on Good Friday for three decades.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, he was a graduate of Central High School, Temple University and Temple University’s School of Law. During World War II, he interrupted his undergraduate studies to serve in the Army.

He started his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the office of Philadelphia District Attorney Richardson Dilworth.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marie C. Della Porta; sons Armand J. Jr., Peter F. and Adrian; a daughter, Adriana; and six grandchildren.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Nov. 10 at Our Mother of Consolation Church with interment at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery in Springfield.

Memorial donations may be made to Our Mother of Consolation Church 9 E. Chestnut Hill Ave.,  Philadelphia, PA 19118.

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