SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Ninth Circuit Senior Judge Arthur Alarcón died Wednesday at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was 89 and served as a judge for 50 years.
Fellow judges and elected officials lauded Alarcón as an “old-school gentleman” and a man of keen intellect.
“He was a person of deep thought and great integrity who served the people of California as a judge for more than 50 years,” Senator Dianne Feinstein said.
Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Emeritus Mary Schroeder called him “a most gracious and dedicated colleague, who lived a life rich in California history.
Alarcón was the first Hispanic judge to sit on the 9th Circuit bench. He was appointed to it in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. He took senior status in 1992. He continued to work even after he was diagnosed with cancer in September last year – a diagnosis he did not disclose to colleagues, the 9th Circuit said in a statement from which these tributes were taken.
“Judge Alarcón was an old-school gentleman,” 9th Circuit Judge Barry Silverman said. “He had an easy laugh, a modest demeanor, a kind word for everyone, and was unfailingly gracious to everyone, whether you were a judge or the janitor. Judge Alarcón also happened to be very smart and blessed with an innate sense of fairness and good judgment. I admired him greatly, both on and off the bench.”
Alarcón served on the L.A. Superior Court bench from 1964 to 1978, and on the Second Appellate District in Los Angeles from 1978 until he was appointed to the federal bench. He was first appointed a judge by Governor Edmund Brown Sr., the present governor’s father.
Alarcón was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service in World War II.
He is survived Judge Alarcón is survived by his wife of 35 years, Sandra; two sons, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Greg Alarcón and his wife, attorney Helen Lemmon Alarcon; attorney Lance Alarcón and his husband, Scott Alarcón; a daughter, Dr. Jan Alarcón; grandchildren Laura, Melody and Pauline; a great-grandson, Vincent; two sisters, Maria Alarcón and Angelina Glomb; and nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Feb. 6, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his name to the Wounded Warrior Project, of Topeka, Kan.; or LACBA Veterans Assistance Project, via LACBA Counsel for Justice, of Los Angeles.
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