Longtime Jackson County Judge Margaret Sauer dies at age 62

Margaret Sauer, a longtime Jackson County Associate Circuit Court judge, died Sunday. She was 62.

“She had so much institutional knowledge,” Jackson County Presiding Judge Marco Roldan said Monday. “She had worked either with the court or in conjunction with it for essentially 30 years.

“That is not easy to replace.”

Then-Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan appointed Sauer to the circuit court in 2000. Before that, she had served as the court’s deputy probate commissioner since 1991 and as the probate division’s legal counsel since 1985.

Sauer proved a tireless colleague, said Roldan, who graduated with Sauer from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1983.

Associate court judges must handle large caseloads, Roldan said. Sauer met the challenge in that role, as well as during her occasional rotations as the judge in charge of initially processing all the court’s criminal cases.

“That assignment is not an easy one,” Roldan said.

Sauer recently had volunteered to serve another rotation not long after Roldan had been named presiding judge. Roldan said another judge had retired at that time, and he had been unsure whom he would assign to that position.

Sauer volunteered for another term, Roldan said.

“She just called me up and told me she was willing to stay for another year,” he said. “She was obviously doing a great job over there, and it saved me from a huge dilemma.”

Sauer had been active in the Kansas City-area legal community, serving as president of the Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City in 1996.

Before earning her law degree in 1983, Sauer taught school for several years in the Kansas City district and had administered the school program at Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Sauer had suffered from brain cancer, said Valerie Hartman, a court spokeswoman.