Doug Gaston speaking photo
Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston

Texas County Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston announced Wednesday that he would retire April 30.

The news came in a letter Wednesday sent to Gov. Mike Parson and Chief Justice Paul Wilson of the Missouri Supreme Court. Parson will appoint a replacement.

Gaston, 55, has been on the bench for about 14 years after he was appointed to the post by Gov. Matt Blunt to replace Brad Ellsworth, who had reached mandatory retirement age.

Gaston’s last day is April 30.

“It has been an honor to serve as judge, for over 14 years now, the county where I was born and raised. I have served the people of my county with my very best efforts, around the clock and 365 days a year for my entire tenure,” Gaston wrote.

A former state representative and Texas County prosecutor, Gaston has been involved in public service for 27 years. He also has served as a special assistant U.S. attorney, chief of staff to the Missouri Senate president and deputy state treasurer.

“Each experience has been a blessing and unique opportunity to help my neighbors. I pray I have lived up to the trust placed in me,” he wrote.

In the letter, Gaston pays tribute to family members for their support and encouragement.

Gaston ends the letter, “So with a thankful and happy heart, I say goodbye to this chapter of a life already immensely blessed. And I welcome with great excitement the next chapter, one in which I am able to serve individuals privately, enjoy life as a simple country lawyer and better care for my family.”

Retirement letter:


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  1. You truly have demonstrated fairness with kindness Doug. It was an honor to have witnessed your bench-side manner as a CASA! (Another of your accomplishments!)

    Vi Longwell
    Springfield Missouri

  2. Imagine my shock when I read this!! We have loved you since my daughter first jumped into your arms. (She was about 5, and you were her swim coach!!) She wasn’t afraid because she fully trusted you.
    It has been a joy to watch you as you have grown from a trustworthy, dependable young man, to the (my goodness) retiring judge!!
    I’ve always known you have a big heart, and a fair mind. This county and so many in it has benefited from your wisdom and guidance.
    I wish you many more blessings and much joy in your retirement. Thank you for being you.

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