Marcel Notzon

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Marcel Carroll Notzon, II

U.S. Magistrate Judge for
the Southern District of Texas
In office
Preceded by Tom Goodwin
Succeeded by Diana Saldaña

Born August 24, 1935
Laredo, Texas
Died April 4, 2018 (aged 82)
Laredo, Texas
Political party Democrat
Spouse(s) Nora Lee Haynes Notzon (married 1961-2018, his death)
Children Marcel C. Notzon, III

James Aloysius Notzon
Christopher Alexander Notzon
Vincent Anthony Notzon
John Dominique Notzon
Nora Lee Notzon Derhalli
Sixteen grandchildren

Alma mater St. Joseph's Academy

St. Mary's University
St. Mary's Law School

Occupation Attorney
Religion Roman Catholic

Marcel Carroll Notzon, II (August 24, 1935 – April 4, 2018), was the second magistrate judge of the United States District Court in his native Laredo, Texas.


The son of Aloysius Joseph, I, and Hortense S. Leyendecker Notzon of Laredo, Judge Notzon was named after his uncle, Roman Catholic Msgr. Marcel Carroll Notzon, I. Marcel Notzon graduated from the Catholic-affiliated St. Joseph’s Academy in Laredo in 1952, at which he played football. He graduated at the top of his class at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, with a Bachelor of Arts in Government in 1956. He served as an instructor at the United States Air Force Language School at Lackland A.F.B., San Antonio, at which he obtained his pilot’s license. From 1956 to 1960, he was an officer in the United States Navy, stationed in Japan. After his marriage to the former Nora Lee Haynes in 1961, Notzon taught history at Lamar Junior High School in Laredo. He went on receive his Juris Doctorate in 1967 from St. Mary’s University Law School, from which he graduated as the valedictorian. His legal career nearly reached forty years. In 1990, he was selected to portray George Washington for the Society of Martha Washington, host of the annual Washington's Birthday celebration in Laredo.[1]


In 1982, District Judge George P. Kazen selected Notzon to fill the vacant magistrate judge position in the Laredo division of the Southern District of Texas. After twenty-four years in the position, Notzon retired in 2006. For eighteen of those years, he was the only federal magistrate in Laredo. Kazen described Notzon as "very passionate about the law but also very compassionate for the persons who appeared before him. Judge Notzon handled an extremely heavy criminal docket in the Laredo division and served without hesitation and with great distinction.”[2]

Notzon’s eldest son, attorney Marcel C. Notzon, III, recalled that his father "originally planned to enter the priesthood but switched to the law after meeting the young woman he would marry. Notzon, III, said that his father "always tried to teach us right from wrong to try to live and follow Christ’s will. ... He always told us, ‘God’s not going to judge us by how much money we have when we die, but how many people we’ve helped.’"[2] Sometimes called "the singing judge", Notzon had a talent for music. He also had many other areas of interest.

Attorney Craig Lawrence, who clerked for Notzon for fifteen years, recalled that the judge once received a standing ovation from more than twenty illegal aliens waiting to appear before him. Lawrence said that Notzon showed genuine interest in their lives and connected with them on a personal level: "Compassion was his hallmark. He expressed himself in a way that I haven't seen in anyone else. The most memorable thing about Judge Notzon is that he didn’t care who you were. He would treat everyone exactly the same. He had the ultimate respect for everybody. I’ve never seen that in any other jurist.”[2]

Judge Diana Saldaña, who succeeded Notzon as magistrate judge, litigated cases before him when she was a federal prosecutor. She said that to her knowledge all who "appeared before him loved him and respected him. He believed very strongly in giving back to the community. We owe him a debt of gratitude for his public service.”[2]


Judge Notzon died at his home in Laredo at the age of eighty-two. After a funeral mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Laredo on April 7, 2018, he was interred at Calvary Catholic Cemetery.[1]

Texas 111th state District Judge Monica Zapata Notzon is his former daughter-in-law.

Saldaña said that to honor Notzon's memory the judges plan to place his portrait in the Laredo federal courthouse jury room.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Judge Notzon's obituary. Retrieved on April 5, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Marcel Notzon, former U.S.magistrate judge, dies. The Laredo Morning Times (April 3, 2018). Retrieved on April 5, 2018.