U.S. Magistrate Judge John Gargiulo died on Oct. 3

October 4, 2021

U.S. Magistrate Judge John C. Gargiulo of Gulfport died on Oct. 3, 2021, of cancer. He was 54.

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A funeral service is scheduled for Oct. 12 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Gulfport. Public visitation is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. The Funeral Mass is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Oct. 12. The procession to Biloxi National Cemetery will begin at 12:30 p.m., with internment at 1:30 p.m.

Judge Gargiulo was appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge of the Southern District of Mississippi on Aug. 1, 2014. Before his appointment as U.S. Magistrate Judge, he served for five years on the Circuit Court. He was appointed to the Second Circuit Court by former Gov. Haley Barbour and was sworn in July 14, 2009. He previously served for nine years as an assistant district attorney for the state’s Second Circuit Court District, which includes Harrison, Hancock and Stone counties.

Senior Circuit Court Judge Lisa P. Dodson said, “He and I were in the District Attorney’s office together and then we were Circuit Judges as well. He was a fine person. He was an excellent judge. He was always very concerned about the folks who came in front of him and always wanted to be fair. We are going to miss him – his sense of humor and the professionalism that he brought to the bench. It’s just been a sad day for everybody that knew him.”

Harrison County Circuit Clerk Connie Ladner had known Judge Gargiulo since they went to school together. “He was a great father, attorney, prosecutor, Circuit Judge and Magistrate and served his country,” she said. “But most of all he was a good person. As much as we loved him in Circuit Court, we were so happy for his success” when he was appointed a federal magistrate.

Chief U. S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III said, “Since his appointment in August of 2014, Judge Gargiulo has served our court with efficiency and distinction, and he will be sorely missed.”

U. S. District Judge Halil S. “Sul” Ozerden of Gulfport, who worked closely with Judge Gargiulo, noted not only his service as U. S. Magistrate Judge, Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit Court District, and Assistant District Attorney, but also his active-duty service as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army. He retired as a Colonel in the Mississippi Air National Guard. “Judge Gargiulo served his state and his country at the highest levels. In fact, he dedicated his professional career to serving others,” Judge Ozerden said. “We owe him and his family a deep debt of gratitude, and we grieve with them at this most difficult time.”

Judge Gargiulo served on active duty in the U.S. Army 1989-1994. He was an intelligence officer during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, concluding his active duty as Battalion Operations Officer. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve 2000-2001, and joined the Mississippi Army National Guard in December 2001. He served as Administrative Services Chief of the 1108th AVCRAD in Gulfport. Judge Gargiulo and his four brothers all served as military officers, following in the footsteps of their father, Thomas Gargiulo, who immigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy.

Judge Gargiulo was born in South Dakota. His father’s military assignments took them from North Africa to the Gulf Coast. The family moved to south Mississippi when he was six, and he grew up on the Gulf Coast.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1998.