Former appeals judge, city attorney dies at 93

Alan Sternberg served Littleton before joining state appeals court


Judge Alan Sternberg died on May 24 after a long career that included a period as Littleton’s city attorney during a period of rapid changes. He was 93.

Sternberg was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, attended schools in the Boston area and joined the Army in 1944, seeing combat in France and Germany with the 95th Infantry Division. He was wounded in action and received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantry Badge.

He graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, then — attracted by mountains and unhappy with Eastern clannishness — he enrolled in the University of Colorado Law School and moved to Boulder with his first wife, Natalie (Cloper), who preceded him in death. He later received (1998) the William Knous Award, given to a CU-Boulder alumnus in recognition of outstanding achievement and service.

He graduated in 1950 and moved to Littleton, where he established a law practice, served as city attorney in Littleton from 1959 to 1974, and was instrumental in locating Arapahoe Junior College (now Arapahoe Community College) in the old section of Littleton. The Littleton Independent named him Public Servant of the Year in 1973.

Sternberg was appointed to the Colorado Court of Appeals in 1974, serving until mandatory retirement in 1998, including nine years as chief judge. He authored more than 1,800 opinions, including 568 published opinions and 56 published dissents, continued to work as a senior judge until 2017 and worked as a private arbitrator.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon (Ward), his children Kathy North (David), Peter Sternberg, Wendy Kawakami (Shigeo) and Daniel Sternberg, stepdaughter Dawn (Jerry) Lee, four grandchildren, one stepgrandchild and five great-grandchildren.

The family requests no flowers. Memorial donations may be sent to the American Heart Association.


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