CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Flags were flying at half-staff Thursday in front of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in honor of Judge Peter Sikora.
Sikora, 60, died Wednesday from complications of pneumonia.
His life changed forever when he was only 17, when a trampoline accident left him paralyzed in a wheelchair.
It never held him back.
"I don't think the people here at juvenile court saw the chair," says Bob Conklin, his longtime bailiff. "Nobody recognized him as being disabled or limited in any way."
Although Sikora never married or had children of his own, he spent his life serving families.
Conklin says Sikora, who served on the bench for over 20 years, often gave sentences designed to make children connect back to their communities.
"He would have them purchase turkeys for a turkey drive," Conklin says, "but he would have them come with the receipt."
Conklin says Judge Sikora's legacy will be that he "reached out as an individual ... to be as helpful as he could and make a positive difference in the lives of countless children."
Calling hours for Judge Sikora are Sunday from 2-6 p.m. at Chambers Funeral Home on Rocky River Drive in Cleveland.
The funeral for Sikora will be Monday morning at 10 a.m. at St. John Cathedral.