Craig Stowers, former Alaska chief justice, dies at age 67

Alaska Court System.
Alaska Court System.(KTUU)
Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 9:57 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Former Alaska Chief Justice Craig Stowers, who retired from the Alaska Supreme Court in 2020, died on Thursday. He was 67.

Current Chief Justice Daniel Winfree notified court staff of Stowers’ passing in an email on Friday. In it, Winfree wrote that Stowers had died peacefully Thursday evening. He did not include a cause of death.

“I don’t know that Craig ever really got over leaving his job as a Park Ranger in Denali National Park, but I know he loved his work as a law clerk, judge, justice, and chief justice,” Winfree wrote in the email.

Born in 1954 in Florida, Stowers came to Alaska in 1977 and worked as a naturalist and ranger in Denali National Park. He earned his law degree in 1985 from the University of California School of Law at Davis, and became an Anchorage Superior Court judge in 2004.

In 2009, then-Gov. Sean Parnell appointed Stowers to the Alaska Supreme Court in 2009, where he served until his retirement in 2020.

Stowers was named chief justice by the other judges on the Supreme Court in 2015. When announcing his retirement, Stowers was one of the longest-serving members of the Alaska Supreme Court. Only Winfree had served longer.

Stowers served on several nonprofit boards, including the Alaska Natural History Association (now known as Alaska Geographic) and the Christian Health Associates.

“I served with him for about a decade on the supreme court and can attest to his hard work, his dedication to justice in Alaska, his love of the Alaska Court System, and his great sense of humor,” Winfree wrote in the email.

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