Longtime Butler County judge dies at 77

Butler County Judge Patricia Oney, pictured her at her retirement reception in 2016, died March 2 in Bethal Park, Pa. GREG LYNCH / STAFF
Butler County Judge Patricia Oney, pictured her at her retirement reception in 2016, died March 2 in Bethal Park, Pa. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Longtime Butler County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Oney, who retired in 2016, has died. She was 77.

She was elected to the bench in 1998 and was the county’s first woman common pleas general trial judge. She was not able to run for a fourth six-year term due to age limitations and retired. She died in Bethel Park, Pa.

 

An Oxford resident at the time of her retirement, Oney grew up in West Virginia, but did not begin her adult life as a law student. The eldest daughter of a physician, Oney earned her first degree in microbiology in 1965 from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in bacteriology in 1970 from the University of Kentucky.

In 1975, she took up law, earning a degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Oney began her legal career as an assistant public defender in Montgomery County, then moved on to private practice for 20 years in Butler County. Her first judgeship was in Area I Court in Oxford, where she served from 1993-99 before moving to her post in common pleas court.