Donald Edward Cordova

donald cordova
Cordova, Donald E. Federal Bankruptcy Judge, 65 Donald Cordova was born in Trinidad, Colorado on January 26, 1938. He passed away suddenly on Sunday, February 16, in Hermosa Beach, California, surrounded by family and longtime friends. He was a devoted husband of 38 years to Patty Cordova, loving father to Annie Cordova (Mark Corbett), Amy (Fred) Christenson, Jill Cordova, and Jennifer Cordova (Tim Harvey, fiance), and proud ''Poppi'' to Coleman and Sophie Corbett of Denver, and Emily, Megan and Claire Christenson of Fairfield, CT. He is also survived by four sisters: Marie Dill, Marge Clayton, Loretta Espinoza, and Pat Fausone, and three brothers: Raymond, Dick, and Terry Cordova. He was preceded in death by his parents, Eloyda (Ortiz) and Benigno Cordova, and 2 brothers, Charles and Van Cordova. He will be greatly missed by all including his numerous cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and friends. Don grew up in Trinidad, where he attended Holy Trinity grade school and high school. He received his B.A. degree from Regis College in Denver in 1961. After graduating from Regis, he attended law school at the University of Colorado in Boulder, receiving his J.D. degree in 1964. Following his law school graduation, he became an assistant United States Attorney in Denver, a position he held until 1968. He then entered private practice with the Denver firm of Zarlengo, Mott and Zar1engo, where he was a trial lawyer until 1982. Between 1982 and 1987, he had his own 1aw firm, and in 1988 he became a founding partner of Cordova, DeMoulin, Harris & Mellon, P.C. In 1990, he was appointed as a judge on the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, and in 2001 he was appointed chief judge. He was a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and served on its board of governors from 1996 to 1999. Active in community and bar organizations, Judge Cordova served as president of the Denver Bar Association and the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, vice-president and member of the board of governors of the Colorado Bar Association, and as a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He was a Fellow of the American and Colorado Bar Foundations and was a former president of the University of Colorado Law Alumni Board and the Law Club of Denver, which presented him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. Don was a benevolent person, often performing free legal services for those in need. He served on numerous civic and non-profit boards, including those of the Denver Foundation, Archdiocesan Housing Committee, Inc., and the Latin American Education Foundation. He worked his entire life for the benefit of his family and had a full and prosperous career. He enjoyed the Colorado outdoors and being surrounded by family and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the: Judge Donald E. Cordova fund, c/o Denver Foundation, 950 S. Cherry St., #200, Denver, CO 80246. The fund will provide financial assistance for further education to those in need. Memorial Mass to be held Saturday, March 1, at 1:30 pm, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 1530 Logan Street., Denver.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Patty: Pal and I send our love and our prayers to you and your family. Jim sent us the information and we were shocked. We are trying to make arrangements to get out there for the Mass. Our prayers will continue to be with you during this trying time. Love, Pal and Jack O\’Connor

  2. You\’ve been in my prayers ever since I heard. It was such a shock. I will remember Don as always being cordial and friendly. He was a good person. To Annie, Amy, Jill and Jennifer a big hug from Cincinnati.

  3. All the family back in Ohio is keeping the family of Don Cordova in their thoughts and prayers. Even though Don lived out of state, his visits were always welcomed and he was well thought of.

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