Passing of retired Judge Sergio Armijo
Pierce County Superior Court is saddened to announce the passing of retired Superior Court Judge Sergio Armijo. Judge Armijo served in Department #9 from 1994 to 2009.
About Judge Armijo:
Judge Sergio Armijo was born on November 24, 1946 in El Paso, Texas, the proud son of Mexican immigrants. He served as a Pierce County Superior Court Judge, Department 9, from 1994 to 2009.
After graduating from high school in 1966, Judge Armijo enlisted and served with the U.S. Army Special Forces. He served three years and saw combat in Vietnam where he distinguished himself by being awarded a Bronze Star for Valor. He was also the recipient of a Purple Heart. After returning from Vietnam, he moved to Seattle, Washington and started his bachelor’s degree at Seattle Community College. In 1973 he graduated from University of Washington with a degree in Political Science. He received his J.D. from the University of Washington School of Law in 1976.
Following law school, Judge Armijo was a recipient of a Smith Fellowship. Due to his fluency in Spanish, he was sent to the Yakima area to provide legal assistance to migrant farm workers. He and another program participant opened a new branch of Evergreen Legal Services in Sunnyside. After the yearlong fellowship ended, he worked with Rural Opportunities2 for a year. In 1978 Judge Armijo opened his own law practice handling a variety of legal issues. He also handled the Public Defender contract for the Lower Yakima Valley.
Judge Armijo later moved to Western Washington and went to work for the City of Tacoma as an Assistant City Attorney. In 1988, he was appointed to fill a vacant Tacoma Municipal Court Commissioner position. Three years later he was appointed Tacoma Municipal Court Judge and was elected in 1992. In 1994, he was appointed judge for Department 9 to the Pierce County Superior Court by Governor Mike Lowry. He served in that capacity for over 14 years before returning to the private practice of law.
While on the Superior Court, Judge Armijo endeavored to give each person who came before him respect and dignity. He believed that the best part of being a judge was feeling that he had made a decision that was fair and right.
Judge Armijo believes that social improvement starts with children and he had devoted many hours volunteering at organizations that work to help children, such as Maple Lane where he primarily worked with Spanish speaking children. He also volunteered with the Hilltop Optimists Youth Organization repairing bicycles and playing ball, helped organize the Minority Youth Community Forum, and for many years was the district convener of the YMCA High School Mock Trial competition. He was a proud father of four children who are all residing in Washington State.
Superior Court Presiding Judge Phil Sorensen had this to say about Judge Armijo, “While I never served with Judge Armijo, prior to becoming a Judge I had the opportunity to try several cases in front of him. He was a gentleman, treated others with respect and, despite his calm demeanor, always displayed the backbone one would expect with a resume like his. The community and the Court will miss him.”
The entire Superior Court of judges, commissioners, judicial staff, and administration team members extend our condolences to the Armijo family. There will be a memorial service for Judge Armijo at a later date.
Chris Gaddis, Superior Court Administrator