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‘He flew as straight as an arrow’: Retired Hall Magistrate judge dies at 71

When retired Gainesville Police Capt. Bill Taylor served as a training officer and needed speakers, he could call on former Hall County Chief Magistrate Judge Alan Pilcher. 

The judge was well versed in the changes in the law, particularly of the Family Violence Act passed in the early 1980s, Taylor said. 

"Everybody just sat there with their mouth open almost,” Taylor said. “He was so interesting, to hear him bring it, for a lack of a better terminology, to the law enforcement level on what constituted a violation.” 

Pilcher, of Gainesville, died Aug. 7 at the age of 71. 

Pilcher joined the U.S. Army after high school and served in Vietnam. 

When Alan returned home, brother Richard Pilcher noticed his brother made the dean’s list quarter after quarter. 

Following Alan’s graduation from law school with honors, Richard Pilcher asked him how he had changed from a struggling student to a top graduate. 

“He said, ‘Getting shot at a few times will change your attitude on life.’ And apparently it did, because he did well from the point he got home,” Richard Pilcher said. 

His wife of 50 years, Linda Pilcher, said, “he flew as straight as an arrow.” 

Pilcher was appointed by the Superior Court judges in 1984 and was elected in 1985. Pilcher was reelected in the following two elections before retiring from the bench in 1996. 

Linda Pilcher said several officers came by the house while he was a Magistrate Court judge, who described him as “tough, but fair.” 

"He was always willing to give them any continuing education that they needed as to what the court's responsibility was and their responsibility to the court was," Linda Pilcher said. 

He later returned to private practice of general law. 

Linda Pilcher, a registered nurse, and her lawyer husband both worked in fields where their clients have confidentiality. 

"When we came home, it was a 'Whew, had a busy day, or had a rough day or had a terrific day,' and that was the end of it,” she said. 

Linda Pilcher described her husband as perpetually curious in just about anything, especially electronics. She said he had two beautiful grandchildren whom he would have loved to have more time with, but “made every minute count.” 

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said Pilcher was a “dedicated public servant,” and he was “sad to hear of his passing.” 

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