Pioneering Federal Judge, Kane County Public Servant Manuel Barbosa Dies at 72

Pioneering Federal Judge, Kane County Public Servant Manuel Barbosa Dies at 72

  • Editor’s Note: This article will be updated when additional information is available regarding funeral arrangements.

Pioneering federal judge Manuel Barbosa, 72, died Monday (Nov. 25, 2019), after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, according to a news report in the Daily Herald.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 270 Division St., Elgin. Burial will be private.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, in the Laird Funeral Home, 310 S. State St, Elgin. For more information, visit

Barabosa, of Elgin, started his legal career as a Kane County assistant state’s attorney and served Kane County residents on many boards and commissions, including the Metra board of directors and the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals, where he served as chairman.

Barbosa was a U.S. bankruptcy judge for 15 years before retiring in 2013, according to a state of Illinois news release.

The Daily Herald said he was the first Latino bankruptcy judge to serve in the U.S. Northern District of Illinois.

Barabosa was recently appointed by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker to serve as a member of the Illinois Human Rights Commission. He had served as chairman of the commission upon its creation under Gov. James Thompson and also under Gov. Jim Edgar.

Barbosa obtained his bachelor’s degree in literature from Illinois Benedictine University, where he serves on the President’s Advisory Council, as well as the Liberal Arts Advisory Council.

He received his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in1977 and served on the Board of Visitors for Northern Illinois University School of law.

Before he was a judge, Barbosa was a lawyer in private practice in Elgin for 20 years.

Complete obituary information will be posted when it becomes available.

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