PHOENIX — Friends and colleagues Monday said Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz, who died Saturday from injuries she suffered after being hit by a car in Arcadia, was the "heart" of the court.
Superior Court Judge Chris Coury met Mroz in 1992 when they were both working at the Arizona Supreme Court. Mroz was a law clerk.
Mroz later worked at the Arizona Attorney General's Office and was sworn in as a judge in 2004.
"She was brilliant, she was organized, she was caring, she was compassionate," said Judge Coury. "She cared about people at a human level. Which just made her really one of a kind. She's awesome. She's awesome."
Corey said as a judge, Mroz was no-nonsense.
"She listened, she was absolutely prepared, she knew the law -- yet she was courteous to everyone at all times. She was the role model of role models for all of here in the Superior Court," he said.
Outside the court, she was a mother of two. Coury carpooled with her to work frequently and lived nearby. He said she was a good friend and was very involved in the community.
"Everybody loved Rosa and Rosa loved everybody," he said.
Colleagues said she was out for her daily walk by her home Wednesday when she was hit by a car while crossing the street near 56th Street and Camelback Road. Police say the driver ran a red light.
Mroz was taken to the hospital with serious injuries, where she later died. Police are still investigating and no charges have been filed.
"Rosa Mroz definitely impacted lives, she lived a life worth living," said Coury.
Mroz won several awards throughout her career, including the 2020 Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Judge of the Year, the 2020 National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Trailblazer Award and the 2014 Maricopa County Superior Court’s Penny Gaines Collegiality Award.
Mroz was on track to retire later this year.
"She dedicated her entire career to the community, to our families here in Arizona, to the law," said Coury.
In a statement Monday, Chief Justice Robert M. Brutinel said the Arizona Supreme Court and Arizona’s judicial branch was mourning the passing of Judge Mroz:
"She was an outstanding jurist and rose to lead the Probate and Mental Health Department from 2010 to 2013 during a time of transition. She also served as a leader in improving the judicial system statewide, serving on many commissions and committees. Most recently, Judge Mroz shared her Probate Court expertise by leading a committee to develop standards for the resolution of probate cases. She also served on the Supreme Court’s committee to improve and regulate court interpreters.
Rosa was hard-working, unfailingly collegial, and a good friend."