Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Tampa-area construction, concrete entrepreneur and inventor dies at 78

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 11:30 a.m. January 1, 2024
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
James Judge Sr. and his son James Judge Jr.
James Judge Sr. and his son James Judge Jr.
Courtesy image
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
  • Share

James Patrick Judge, a Dunedin resident and longtime entrepreneur in the concrete and construction industries in the region and across the state, has died. 

Judge died Friday, Dec. 29 at Melech Hospice House in Temple Terrace after a continued decline in his health over the past year, according to a statement. He was 78. 

Judge’s first business was Judge Construction, which he founded in the mid-1960s. The company, according to a statement from the Judge family, “quickly became one of the largest concrete pumping companies in the Southeastern U.S.” It pumped the concrete for the construction of many iconic Florida landmarks including Walt Disney World; Epcot; the Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant; the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant; the Skyway Bridge; Tampa Stadium; Raymond James Stadium; Busch Gardens; Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville; Tampa International Airport; and many of the high-rises that make up the skylines of Tampa, Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville.

"Dad loved the challenges and adventures of starting businesses and traveling the world, and he loved living in the Tampa Bay area, particularly Dunedin, and watching the city’s transformation over the past thirty years," says Judge’s son, James P. Judge Jr., in the statement. "If you knew him, you also know he was proud of the concrete work his company did with the University of Florida. He was a Gator Booster and season ticket holder for decades, and he remained a loyal Florida Gator football fan until the day he passed."

One of Judge’s most cherished construction projects, his family recalls, was when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted his company to travel to San Juan, Puerto Rico to help with developing and executing a plan to save the famed 16th century Spanish Fort, Castillo San Felipe del Morro, known to San Juan locals as El Morro. Judge Construction pumped concrete in strategic locations around the base of the fort to help prevent further tidal erosion.

After Judge Construction was sold in the 1980s, James and his brother Tom started a new company called PUMPS Inc., which manufactured smaller, towable concrete pumps. The company’s signature achievement was the development of the P-88 concrete pump, according to the statement. The Judge brothers sold the company in 1991 to Schwing America.

In 2000, Schwing announced at the World of Concrete convention in Orlando that the P-88 concrete pump had become the largest-selling small-line concrete pump in the world. That same year, James Judge was presented the Pioneer Award by the American Concrete Pumping Association for his lifetime contributions to the industry.

Following the sale of PUMPS Inc., Judge and his brothers formed a smaller concrete pumping company called Concrete Pump Dispatch Inc., which was based in Safety Harbor. CPDI specialized in providing concrete pumping services throughout the Tampa Bay area and also for larger commercial projects, including military bases across the Southeast. CPDI operated until early 2023, when the brothers retired and the company was dissolved.

Judge was born in Waukegan, Illinois in 1945, and moved to Sarasota with his family in 1959. He’s survived by three adult children: Anastasia Judge-Arauz; Alexandria Judge-Lenkeit and Judge Jr.



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

Latest News


Special Offer: Only $1 Per Week For 1 Year!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.
Join thousands of executives who rely on us for insights spanning Tampa Bay to Naples.