LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Kaliste Saloom Jr., a longtime Lafayette city judge, and historian died Saturday evening at the age of 99.
Saloom served as City Court judge for 40 years on after serving in World War II.
As judge, he oversaw reforming the process of issuing traffic tickets and the expansion of the court in 1984
He also helped found the Lafayette Juvenile Detention Home and the Acadiana Safety Council.
“My father was part of the greatest generation. He was born before the depression, he was raised through the depression, he lived in Lafayette all of his life. He saw Lafayette grow from basically a small little cow town to this metropolis that it is right now,” says Saloom’s son Kaliste Saloom III.
After serving in World War II, Kaliste Saloom Jr. returned to Lafayette where he would go on to sever on the bench for 40 years as a city judge.
“He brought the justice system of Lafayette, specifically through the city court, and to not only a modern era in terms of fairness and justice but also in terms of trying to help the citizens not just by punishing them but I actually working on programs that help,” says Saloom, III.
Saloom, Jr. was instrumental in founding the Lafayette Juvenile Detention Home and the Acadiana Safety Council.
“People would come up to me and a lot of times they would tell me they wouldn’t be alive today if my father had not have had the Stern, fair, but sternness in helping people that got in trouble,” says Saloom, III.
Saloom Jr’s granddaughter Leslie says, “He lived in a way that taught us that family was important, it’s important to get a good education, work and give back to the community and those were things that were additional things that you could do your life it was expected of you to do those things.”
Saloom, Jr. was also a dedicated raging Cajun fan. He graduated valedictorian of his class in 1939 and later leading the university alumni association.
“I work for the University now and walking around campus every day I see him, and I see the impact he had on the people around him. Just the love of family, religion, community those were all things that were so important to him and in return or important to us,” says Leslie Saloom.
Visitation will begin Friday at Martin and Castille from 10am-8pm, with the Rosary @ 6pm.
Saturday Visitation will be held at Our Lady of Fatima Church starting at 8am until the funeral service at 10am. Burial services will be at St. John Cemetery with a reception to follow at the UL Lafayette Alumni Center.