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James Stouffer Chenault

May 1, 1923 January 16, 2020
James Stouffer Chenault
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Obituary for James Stouffer Chenault

Judge James Stouffer Chenault, 96, passed away January 16, 2020 in Richmond, Kentucky. He was born May 1, 1923 in Richmond, Kentucky to the late Joe Prewitt Chenault and Russell Stouffer Chenault. He was predeceased by his wife Dorothy Neff Chenault, his brother Joe Prewitt Chenault, Jr. and cousins that were raised with him as siblings, Mamie Hamilton Chaplin, Negia Hamilton Ward and Russell Stouffer Hamilton.
Judge Chenault graduated Model High School and entered the United States Navy as an Apprentice Seaman, in May 1943 during World War II. He served in the Pacific aboard the destroyer escort, USS Lamons, rising to Quartermaster, Third Class. He returned to the United States and attended USNR Midshipmen’s School, was commissioned an Ensign, and returned to the Pacific serving aboard the cruiser, USS Topeka. He was honorably discharged from active duty in July 1946, having attained the rank of Lieutenant (j.g.).
He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky Law School where he served as President of the law school Student Bar Association. After law school, he commenced solo practice in Richmond, Kentucky. During this period, he served as Prosecuting Attorney for the City of Richmond and Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 25th Judicial Circuit. He served as President of the Younger Lawyers Conference of the KBA, President of the Madison County Bar Association and President of the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Association.
On September 30, 1966, Governor Edward T. Breathitt appointed him Circuit Judge for the 25th Judicial Circuit. He served with high distinction for 27 years, retiring on September 30, 1993. Judge Chenault was one of the drafters of the circuit court portion of the Judicial Article that was approved and adopted as part of Kentucky’s Constitution in 1975, thus giving Kentucky the most modern and innovative court system in the United States.
Perhaps his major contribution to the improvement of the courts on a national basis was his introduction of video as the official trial court record in all jury trials in Madison Circuit Court in 1982. This was the first successful use of video as the official court record in the United States (and so far as can be ascertained, in the world!). The video use led to the awarding to the State of Kentucky a $100,000 grant by the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University for “Innovations in the Courts.” He also placed all jury trials in Madison and Clark Counties on public access television as he believed openness brought respect to the court system.
Judge Chenault served five years as president of the Kentucky Circuit Judges Association and then as editor of its Newsletter for the next eighteen years. He has received various awards over the years, including Outstanding Trial Judge Award of the Kentucky Trial Academy of Trial Attorneys, Chief Justice’s Special Award, Outstanding Alumnus of Eastern Kentucky University, and many other civic honors.
In 1998, he was inducted into the University of Kentucky Law Alumni Association Hall of Fame and in 2019; he was the first inductee into the Model Laboratory School Hall of Fame.
Judge Chenault was an avid EKU football and basketball fan having attending games for over 80 years. He was active in the Chenault Family National Association traveling each year to spend time with family and friends. He most enjoyed spending time with his grandson James, his chauffer, bargain hunting buddy and best friend.
He is survived by his daughter, Judge Jean Chenault Logue and her husband, Howard Logue, his grandsons James Howard Logue and Seth Logue.
Funeral Services will be conducted at 1:00 PM Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at The First Presbyterian Church, 330 West Main Street, Richmond with Dr. Curtis Christian officiating. Burial will follow in the Richmond Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4-8 PM Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at the church.

Pallbearers are: James Howard Logue, Jordan Seth Logue, Charles C. Hay, Dr. Stuart Tobin, Barry Metcalf, Ed Chenault, John Walton and David Steidle. Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the Madison County and Clark County Bar Associations and The Richmond Exchange Club.

Memorial Donations may be made to The First Presbyterian Church or The Humane Society Animal League for Life of Madison County.

The family would like to express their appreciation to Betty Fritz, Alberta Mooney, Mary Rogers and the staff of Telford Terrace.

The Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home, 328 West Main Street, Richmond is in charge of the arrangements. www.cpcfh.com

Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

21

Jan

4:00 PM 1/21/2020 4:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 1/21/2020 8:00:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

330 West Main Street
Richmond, KY 40475

First Presbyterian Church
330 West Main Street Richmond 40475 KY
United States

Service

Wednesday

22

Jan

1:00 PM 1/22/2020 1:00:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

330 West Main Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Dr. Curtis Christian, officiating

First Presbyterian Church
330 West Main Street Richmond 40475 KY
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Richmond Cemetery Final Resting Place

606 East Main St.
Richmond, KY 40475

606 East Main St. Richmond 40475 KY
United States

Memorial Contribution

First Presbyterian Church

330 West Main Street
Richmond, KY 40475

Humane Society A.L.L.

P.O. Box 2094
Richmond, KY 40476
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