Update: Marcia Beach Dies, Was Former Broward Commissioner & Circuit Judge




Marcia Beach, a former county commissioner during Broward’s era of rapid growth and circuit judge who was an advocate for the mentally disabled, died in Lakeland on Saturday of a suspected heart attack.

She was 71.

Beach came to Broward in the 1970s after her husband Cecil Beach was hired to build Broward’s library system from scratch.  The couple came from Tallahassee where Beach began her career as a disability advocate in Tallahassee for non-profit organization.

State Rep. Harold Dyer, D-Hollywood, remembered Beach’s work in Tallahassee and hired her as secretary for the Broward Legislative Delegation.

In 1978, Beach ran for state Senate, beating Charlie Mintz in the Democratic primary. She got crushed by the GOP’s Van Poole, who had a big advantage at the time.  Florida still had multi-member Senate seats and Broward’s districts ran from the Atlantic Ocean across Alligator Alley through Republican-heavy Collier County to the Gulf.

In 1980, Beach ran and won a seat on the county commission. She was known as a guardian of the environment while on the commission during a time of intense development.

“A special woman. An original. Always motivated to do the right thing. Served the County as Commissioner with honor. Served the bench, especially Drug Court, with courage, compassion and a no nonsense attitude that gave many of Broward’s most challenged a second chance. She will be missed. She will be in my prayers,” former County Commissioner John Hart posted on Facebook.

Beach left the commission in 1985 to attend law school at Nova Southeastern. After graduation, Beach was with Holland & Knight, focusing on land use, zoning and environmental law.

From 1992 to 1998 she was the attorney and executive director of the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities.  She had a severely disabled daughter.

Beach also spent one year with Josias, Goren, Cherof, Doody and Ezrol before her election.

Elected to the Broward bench in 2000, Beach beat Browardbeat.com contributor Sam Fields in a runoff election. She presided over the drug court for a number of years until retiring in 2013.

Services are in Lakeland, where she moved after leaving the bench.  Friends of Beach are hoping to put together a memorial service in South Florida at some point.


Marcia BeachMarcia Beach

8 Responses to “Update: Marcia Beach Dies, Was Former Broward Commissioner & Circuit Judge”

  1. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    She was a Saint. She cared for both victims and defendants. She was one of the most caring human beings to evet grace the Bench. She will be missed by so many people she selflessly helped.

  2. Such a loss says:

    Such a loss. I was before her in drug court and she was a wonderful help to so many people. Please let us know the funeral plans.

  3. LW says:

    I had the privilege to be one of her daughter’s teachers many years ago. Mrs. Beach was a gracious lady who was a great advocate for people with disabilities. My condolences to her family.

  4. Ta n ya Simons Oparah says:

    Marcia Beach was a quiet unassuming but strong woman. I remember when she ran for the county commision a nd when she decided to return to school at the age of 40 something. She was a graceful woman who lived a purposful life. She i s missed.

  5. barry epstein says:


  6. Jack Moss says:

    She believed that everyone in drug court had a good side, and gave them every chance to discover it. Marcia never gave up on anyone in her court … there are soooooo many people today who owe their sobriety to Judge Marcia Beach. RIP my friend.

  7. Commissioner Angelo Castillo says:

    Graceful, caring, personable and sharp, all of those are perfect ways to describe her. She was a pleasure to work with and Cecil also. So sorry to hear this news.

  8. zigy says:

    buddy this is for u isn’t it about time to ask when the new courthouse is allegedly opening, hell it will be so old by then we will need a more modern one to replace it lol great work and blog