GRAY COUNTY — On Dec. 31, after 20 years, District Magistrate Judge Joey Duncan in Gray County.


Inspired to become a judge after working as a baseball umpire and church youth group leader, Duncan became a judge in 2000, serving five four-year terms, according to the Kansas Office of Judicial Administration.


A native of Great Bend, Duncan graduated from Cimarron High School and worked for the Gray County Road Department for 25 years prior to becoming a judge.


Additionally, Duncan oversaw juvenile and civil cases in Ford County.


"I really enjoyed working with youth," Duncan said in a news release. "So many young people come from broken homes. I wanted to make a difference in their lives.


"The most satisfying part of my job is when I get a phone call or a letter from someone thanking me for what happened in their case."


Duncan said for those interested in becoming district magistrate judges, he encourages them to study statutes and the requirements needed.


According to the Kansas Office of Administration, district magistrate judges in the 16th Judicial District are elected by partisan ballot and consist of counties Ford, Gray, Clark, Comanche, Kiowa and Meade.


Duncan said he will continue to be the municipal judge for Cimarron.


Duncan and his wife have two sons along with four grandchildren.


To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com