Albert Sherman Christensen, age 91, died peacefully at East Lake Care Center in Provo, Utah, early Tuesday, August 13, 1996.
He was born in Manti, Utah, June 9, 1905, the son of A.H. Christenson and Jennie Snow Christenson. In 1927, he married Lois Bowen of Spanish Fork. They lived in Washington, D.C. for five years, where both worked to finance his legal education at National University Law School.They established their home in Provo, Utah, in 1932, where Sherman joined his father's law firm and practiced with him as a trial lawyer, and later also with his brothers, Phillip V. and Cullen Y. Christensen. Sherman served in the Navy for four years during World War II.
In 1954 he was appointed United States District Judge by President Eisenhower and moved his family to Salt Lake City, where for nearly 40 years he made important and innovate contributions to the federal bench in Utah and nationwide. The year after attaining senior judge status in the early `70s he was also appointed to the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, where he eventually served longer than any of the other 27 judges who had served since its beginning. His judicial service, in addition to the hearing of cases on trial and appellate levels throughout the country, included membership in six committees of the Judicial Conference of the United States.
Judge Christensen was always a voracious reader, insatiable student, and prolific writer, not only of legal opinions, administrative guidelines, and articles pertaining to law, but also poetry, personal histories, church and other talks, and in other areas of his extensive interests.
In 1980, he participated in the formation of the first American Inn of Court, which now bears his name, and which has become the model for more than 200 American Inns of Court throughout the country. He was one of the three incorporators of the American Inns of Court Foundation, the other two being Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, now deceased, and Rex E. Lee, then Solicitor General of the United States and later President of Brigham Young University, now deceased. In 1989 he sat with two distinguished British judges at the mock trial for treason of George Washington in the ancient hall of Lincoln's Inn in London, the trial being broadcast live by the BBC.
Among the many honors and awards Judge Christensen received are: President of the Utah State Bar, 1950-51; Outstanding Achievement Award, Utah State Bar. 1971; honory membership in the Society of the Bar and Gavel, University of Utah, 1972; honorary membership in Order of the Coif, University of Utah College of Law. 1973; honorary membership, Federal Bar Association. 1974; Judge of the Year Award, Utah State Bar. 1977; Outstanding Service Award. International Academy of Trial Lawyers. 1978; Distinguished Jurist Award, Federal Bar Association. 1989; Chairman's Award, American Inns of Court Foundation. 1989; President's Award, Brigham Young University, 1989; The American Bar Association Medal, 1990; and the Fullbright Award for Distinguished Service, National Law Center, George Washington University, 1991.
Following the 1992 death of Lois, his beloved wife of 65 years, Judge Christensen lived for three years at the Seville Retirement Center in Orem. At the Seville, he was a founder of the Sevillean, a monthly newsletter, continued other writing efforts, enjoyed his ongoing affiliation with the American Inns of Court, and had a rich and zestful life. His family appreciates the many friends he had at the Seville and is grateful for the care he received during his last six months, at the East Lake Center.
He is survived by his three children; A. Kent (Betsy Sears) Christensen, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Karen "Cris" Coffey, Castle Valley, Utah; and Krege B. (Judy Brown) Christensen, Salt Lake City, Utah; 14 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; sisters, Norma "Chris" (Reed) Webster, Garden City, Utah, and Kathryn (Del) Gardner, Orem, Utah.
Funeral services will be held at 12 noon, Monday, August 19, 1996, at the Salt Lake Eagle Gate Stake Center, third Avenue and A Street, SLC. Viewing will be at the Berg Mortuary, 185 East Center Street, Provo, Utah, from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 18, 1996, as well as Monday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the stake center. Interment will be at the family cemetery plot in Manti, Utah, where his wife and several preceding generations of Christensen and Snow ancestors rest. Graveside services will be held approximately three hours following the funeral.
Instead of flowers, the family suggests that contributions might be made in Judge Christensen's memory either to the American Inns of Court Foundation, 127 South Peyton St., Suite 201, Alexandria, Virg. 22314, or to
The A. H. Christenson Excellence in Advocacy Award, c/o Dean H. Reese Hansen, J. Reuben Clark Law School, BYU, P.O. Box 28000, Provo, UT 84602-8000
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