Saul Haffner died in 2017. He was 87.
He served on the RTM, was a member of the Y’s Men, and taught photography and writing at the Senior Center and Norwalk Community College.
Saul was a US Army veteran. He was an engineer who worked on NASA’s Gemini program, and a professor of business and marketing at Sacred Heart University.
But he is best known as a justice of the peace. In fact, he may have been the nation’s foremost authority on the subject. In 2009, I profiled him for “06880.”
Saul and his wife Barbara Jay founded the Justice of the Peace Association (JPUS) in 2001. At the dawn of the internet age, they wanted to connect couples and officiants in a personalized fashion.
An early advocate of marriage equality, he and Barbara created professional conferences on all aspects of a JP’s role.
Saul and Barbara’s daughter Loretta Jay carries on their tradition.
The 1984 Staples High School graduate — now a Fairfield resident — wants her parents’ vision and network to continue. She’s still connecting officiants and couples. But she’s expanded her services to incorporate her own interests and professional work: underserved populations, and problems affecting young people.
JPUS became a founding member of the national Coalition to End Child Marriage. Last year, the organization helped run the first and only training about child and forced marriage and human trafficking for American marriage officiants.
Previous conferences have featured keynote speakers like Senator Richard Blumenthal and current Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.
This year, the Justice of the Peace Association hosts a virtual conference. Set for March 13 (9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.), it’s a creative environment where civil officiants can reimagine weddings, learn new skills, and nurture relationships.
Secretary of the State Denise Merrill will recognize Saul and Barbara, and JPUS’s 20 years.
Always wanted to be a justice of the peace? Interested in marriage-related issues like equality and human trafficking?
Click here for more information, email lorettajay@JPus, or call 203-255-7703.