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J. Ernest Kinard
Ernest Kinard photo

The Honorable J. Ernest Kinard, Jr., 75, of Camden, died Tuesday, May 19, 2015 at home after a courageous battle with cancer. 

Born October 18, 1939, in Newberry, SC, he was the son of the late J. Ernest Kinard, Sr. and Blanche Lominick Kinard. He attended Clemson University and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1961. In 1964 he was awarded a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law. While in law school, he was admitted to the Order of the Wig and Robe. 

Judge Kinard especially enjoyed spending time with his family, traveling, and reading. A lifelong athlete, he played both offense and defense on the Newberry High School football team of 1956 and was voted best blocker. He was an avid golfer for over 40 years. In 2014 he won first place in his flight in the Myrtle Beach World Amateur and was awarded the Overall Winner of the 35th Annual Judicial Invitational Golf Classic. 

He joined the Savage Firm in Camden in January of 1964. As a general practitioner, he handled all types of legal matters. He served as the firm’s managing partner until elected to the South Carolina Circuit Court in 1988. 

As a Circuit Judge, he served as Chief Judge for Administrative Purposes in numerous circuits, held court in all 46 counties, and served as the first presiding judge of the State Grand Jury.

Judge Kinard was named Trial Judge of the Year in 2006 by the SC Chapter of the American Bar of Trial Advocates and was awarded the Rhodes/McDonald Trophy by the O’Neal Inn of Court in 2011. For the six years prior to his active retirement in October 2010, he was the most senior active Circuit Judge in South Carolina. He continued to serve a full assigned schedule as an active/retired Circuit Judge even while battling cancer, never missing a day of holding court in twenty seven years. 

Active in local affairs, Judge Kinard served as president of the Camden Sertoma Club, the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, and the Kershaw County Bar Association. He also supported the United Way of Kershaw County as Fund Drive Chairman, served as a trustee of Louise C. Proctor Hall, and was a member of the church council of St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church. 

Judge Kinard is survived by his wife of fifty two years, Kay Davis Kinard, his daughter Kami Kinard and her husband Shannon Mullen, his daughter Audrey Kinard Smith and her husband Andrew M.G. Smith, his son John E. Kinard, III and his wife Amy L. Kinard and his grandchildren Justice and Corinne Mullen, Eliza Livingston Smith, and Vivian and Davis Kinard. He is also survived by his sister Dale Kinard Brown and her husband B.L., his brother James Ira Kinard and his wife Betsy, his sister-in-law Gayle Davis Lindley, and his nieces Donna, Kacey, Jenny and Marianna their spouses and children. 

A family funeral service will be held at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church followed by interment at Quaker Cemetery. Judge Kinard’s friends and colleagues are invited to a memorial service which will be held at 3:00 pm today, May 22 at First Baptist Church of Camden, 1201 Broad Street. The family will receive visitors immediately after the memorial service in the Historic Robert Mills Courthouse, 607 Broad Street.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church, 1301 Mill Street, Camden, SC 29020 or the United Way of Kershaw County, P.O. Box 737 Camden, SC 29021.

Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel is assisting the family.

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