In loving memory of Judge Carol E. Draper

It is with deep sadness that we share the news about the passing of retired Judge Carol E. Draper this past weekend. Her career in the legal profession and her unwavering commitment to justice have left an indelible mark on our community. 

Judge Draper’s educational journey began studying music at Ithaca College and the State University of New York at Buffalo. After discovering a passion for justice and the law, she attended Stetson University College of Law, where she earned her juris doctor degree in 1985. After graduating, Judge Draper embarked on a career as an attorney in Osceola County. Her dedication to her clients and her community soon propelled her toward a new path: Running for the bench. In 1993, she achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first female judge to be elected in Osceola County. 

Throughout her 25 years on the bench, Judge Draper presided over a wide range of cases, from civil disputes to criminal matters. Her commitment to upholding the law earned her the respect of colleagues, attorneys, and litigants alike. From 2010 to 2015, she additionally served as Associate Administrative Judge in Osceola County. 

Beyond her judicial duties, Judge Draper was deeply involved in the community. She served as President of the Osceola County Bar, fostering connections among legal professionals and advocating for access to justice. Her leadership extended to the Teen Court of Osceola County, where she served on the Board of Directors, eventually serving as Chair, and mentored young minds and shaping the future of our legal system. 

Judge Carol E. Draper’s legacy transcends her legal accomplishments. Her unwavering commitment to justice, her dedication to the bench, and her tireless service to the community will never be forgotten in the Ninth. As we mourn her passing, we ask that you keep her family and friends in your thoughts during this difficult time.