Barb (Steele) Ansted Wilson
September 10, 1949-March 9, 2017
Fremont News-Messenger, March 9, 2017 - Judge Barbara Ansted Wilson, a Sandusky County Common Pleas Court judge since 2009, passed away Thursday morning at her home. She was 67 and had been diagnosed with cancer last fall.
Wilson was a 1978 graduate of Pepperdine University College of Law and a 1971 graduate of Wittenberg University with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
She was sworn in as Common Pleas judge on Feb. 10, 2009, after serving as family mediator for Sandusky County and Ottawa County common pleas and juvenile courts.
Sandusky County Court Administrator Brock Kimmet on Thursday described Wilson as "extremely passionate about her position as judge and was the leader in creating Sandusky County Reentry Program as well as the mediation program and very involved in several civic clubs. Judge Wilson will be greatly missed."
"Barb was firm but fair as a common pleas judge," Kimmet said. "She always saw something in the defendant that they didn't even see and she would give them a fair shake."
Wilson began her law career in Fremont in 1978, serving in both private and public practice until opting to close her private law office in 2005 to devote her attention to mediating family disputes full time.
Her election to the bench came shortly after a tragic accident that claimed the life of her husband Bill Ansted, daughter, Alison Ansted, Alison’s fiancé Matt Clearman, and three other members of the community who died in a plane crash at the Fremont Progress Airport Fly-In and Drive-In in June, 2008.
"I don't know how she made it through, and maybe she never did. You could just see the determination in her," Kimmet said.
Among the high-profile cases Wilson oversaw as a judge was the trial of Igmidio "Roger" Mista, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2015 after pleading guilty to three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder after shooting four people at the Last Call Bar in Fremont.
Wilson was an active member of Zion Lutheran Church in Gibsonburg and served on the boards of many community organizations including the Optimist Club of Fremont and Homes/Casas Inc., an organization that provides low to moderate income housing in Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Barb is a 2017 Maumee High Distinguished Alumni inductee.