Former district court judge has passed away; funeral today

Former longtime district court judge Ernest “Ernie” Harviel has died.

Harviel, 73, was a district court judge for 17 years from 1990 to 2007, winning four-year terms as a Democrat during elections in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004; he was appointed to the bench in 1990 by then-Governor James G. Martin, a Republican.

Harviel resigned in 2007 for health reasons, specifically kidney stones, which he said at the time had kept him off the bench or shortened the days when he was able to hold court.

A Burlington native, he was a 1968 graduate of Williams High School, Appalachian State University (1972), and UNC Law School (1975).

He was in private practice and served as an assistant district attorney before his appointment in the district court bench in 1990.

He died Monday at Peak Resources in Graham, after several months of declining health.

The funeral will be held today (Thursday, February 8) at First Reformed United Church of Christ in Burlington with the Rev. Grace McMullen officiating, with a graveside service immediately following at Pine Hill Cemetery.