Arkansas City Joseph Michael Smith, the chief judge of the Cowley County District Court, has died at the age of 74.
Smith died Monday at his Arkansas City home, according to the Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death, said David York, a spokesman for the funeral home.
The Arkansas City Traveler reported that Smith was chief judge of the 19th Judicial District of Kansas since January 2000. He was a district court judge in Cowley County since January 1995, after being elected in November 1994.
Marilyn Leith, chief clerk of the district court in Winfield, said Smith had planned to retire next Jan. 11.
Smith had requested cremation. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church in Arkansas City.