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Political rookie runs for Orphans' Court judge slot

June 07, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Joseph W. Eichelberger has filed to run for a judge of the Orphans' Court for Washington County.

A political newcomer, Eichelberger said he thinks the time is right for him to start giving something back to the community where he lives and where he worked and raised his children.

"I've been thinking about this for a while," Eichelberger said. "I believe I could make a contribution."

Eichelberger, 61 and semi-retired, works part time as a security officer at the Washington County Courthouse.

Eichelberger said he has no plans to do any organized campaigning, instead relying on all the people he has encountered over the years through his work and community activities.

Eichelberger is the president of the Sharpsburg Little League.

"This is the second time around for me on Little League," Eichelberger said. He was involved when his children were involved and now his grandchildren are active in the sport.

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Eichelberger and his wife Mary Ann have three children and six grandchildren.

He is also a member of American Legion Antietam Post 236, is a veteran of the U.S. Army Signal Corps., and is a former officer of both the Sharpsburg Fire Co. and Rescue Service.

Eichelberger retired from the Maryland Division of Correction after 21 years, assigned to both the Maryland Correctional Institution in Hagerstown and the Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Md.

He also spent many years in the grocery business, having started as a teenager at the former H.L. Mills Store in Hagerstown. He is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Lappans.

For the past four years, Eichelberger has been employed by the Washington County Sheriff's Department at the courthouse security checkpoint.

On May 20, John M. Shriver became the first of the incumbent judges of the Orphans' Court for Washington County to file for another term.

Judges of the Orphans' Court for Washington County meet two days a week at the Washington County Courthouse to probate wills, set attorneys' fees, settle disputes over estates and appoint administrators and guardians.

Linda Fox and Harry Harsh are the other judges of the Orphans' Court for Washington County.

The job now pays $6,000 a year, but that amount will increase to $7,000 after the election.

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