Longtime Florida contractor and concrete pump maker James Patrick Judge Sr. died Dec. 29 at Melech Hospice House in Temple Terrace, Fla., at age 78, according to his son, James Judge Jr.. He founded multiple companies in the industry and worked on projects at Walt Disney World Resort, Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium and other notable Florida sites.
Judge was born in Waukegan, Ill., and moved to Sarasota, Fla., as a boy. He founded Judge Construction in the 1960s, and the concrete contractor contributed to projects including the Skyway Bridge and Tampa International Airport. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to protect the 16th century Spanish fort Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan was a personal highlight for Judge, according to Judge Jr. The contractor placed concrete at key points around the fort’s base in order to prevent erosion. Another highlight was working on the University of Florida’s Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
“If you knew him, you also know he was proud of the concrete work his company did with the University of Florida,” Judge Jr. said in a statement, adding that his father was a lifelong Florida Gators football fan.
After selling Judge Construction in the 1980s, Judge and his brother, Tom, started PUMPS Inc., which manufactured towable concrete pumps. They developed the P-88 concrete pump before selling the company in 1991 to Schwing America. Schwing marketed the P-88 into the 2010s and still sells replacement parts for the equipment.
Judge and his brothers then founded another contractor, Concrete Pump Dispatch Inc. of Safety Harbor, Fla. CPDI worked locally in the Tampa Bay area and on projects around the Southeast. The brothers dissolved the company last year when they retired.
“Dad loved the challenges and adventures of starting businesses and traveling the world, and he loved living in the Tampa Bay area, particularly Dunedin, and watching the city’s transformation over the past thirty years,” Judge Jr. said.
Judge is survived by his three grown children. Funeral services are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Jan. 4 at Espiritu Santo Catholic Church in Safety Harbor.