Town, judiciary reeling from loss of beloved Judge
HAMMONTON – Those that knew Judge Allen Littlefield describe him as kind, gentle, intelligent and a great family man. Others touted his professionalism while he was in court and on the bench.
Family, friends and colleagues gathered for a Funeral Mass at St. Joseph’s Church on Oct. 19 to celebrate the life of Littlefield, who passed away last week.
Residents were saddened and shocked to learn that Littlefield died of natural causes while taking part in judicial training in Newark on Oct. 14. The lifelong Hammontonian became a Superior Court judge in July 2011, working in the Civil Division up until last month when he was transferred to the Criminal Division.
“It’s a very big loss to the judiciary and a loss to me personally,” said Judge Nelson Johnson, who is also from Hammonton and knew Littlefield’s parents for 50 years. “I mentored Allen when he first came to the bench. I found him to be a quick learner with a keen sense of justice and fairness. He was a rising star.”
“He was genuinely kind and a caring individual,” Criminal Division Presiding Judge Bernard DeLury said. “And he was constantly professional. He had great legal expertise. He brought that from his legal career and transferred it to great effect to the bench.”
Judge DeLury added: “It is such a loss and we are all reeling from it. He was a beloved son of Hammonton. He spoke often and happily of growing up in Hammonton.”
Littlefield was born and raised in Hammonton, graduating from Hammonton High School in 1985. After graduating Richard Stockton College in 1989, he attended Hofstra University School of Law, graduating in 1993.
The Hammonton native then began a prestigious law career that included being a founding partner of Fishman, Littlefield and Fishman, and serving as solicitor for Hammonton Zoning and Planning Boards. He was also served as public defender, and Assistant Prosecutor for Hammonton, Folsom and Mullica Township.
Both Hammonton Mayor Steve DiDonato and Councilman Sam Rodio worked closely with Littlefield and were devastated to hear about his passing. Both had last spoken with Littlefield on Oct. 10 during a local cancer benefit.
“I’ve known the Judge since he was probably in high school,” DiDonato said. “He was a great Hammontonian and a great guy. He was a good husband and father. I just saw him at a cancer benefit and he was telling me about being with his son at the traveling soccer games. He was very much in his kids’ lives. He was a great guy.”
“I met Allen nine years ago. He was our solicitor on our zoning board and I sat on the board at that time,” Rodio said. “He was a fantastic person, solicitor and lawyer. I know him from town. I was with him, then today to hear that was just devastating. Allen was an unbelievable man. He was a true lifelong Hammontonian. He was a solicitor who moved on to a judgeship. It is a great loss for the town of Hammonton. We are all going to miss him. He was really devoted to the town.”
Littlefield is survived by his wife, Karen (Dougherty), and their two sons, Matthew and Michael; his parents, Allen and Joyce Littlefield; and his sister, Andrea Marino and her husband, Bob.
Judge Littlefield’s obituary appears on Page 6A.