The City of Minden has honored Graydon K. Kitchens Jr., retired chief judge of the 26th Judicial District, for 50 years of practicing law in the community.
Kitchens will be honored during a special come-and-go event at Orleans on Main in downtown Minden from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m, Friday. The public is invited to stop by. A presentation will take place at 12:30 p.m.
"Graydon K. Kitchens, Jr., has faithfully served his God, his country, his family, his church, his community and last, but certainly not least, his beloved LSU Tigers," Minden Mayor Tommy Davis wrote in his proclamation. "I am hereby honored and privileged to recognized Graydon K. Kitchens Jr., upon his fiftieth anniversary as a practicing attorney. Best wishes for many more successful years."
Kitchens was born in Minden and graduated from Minden High School in 1954. He attended Louisiana State University where he received his undergraduate degree in 1958. At LSU, he was associate editor of the Louisiana Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He was president of the Baptist Student Union, president of the Law School Student Bar Association, a member of the "L" Club and a member of the LSU baseball team. He was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and a member of the University Disciplinary Committee.
From 1958 to 1960, he was a lieutenant in the United States Army infantry. After he obtained his Juris Doctorate from LSU in 1964, he entered with his father into the Kitchens Law Firm in Minden.
In 1976, Kitchens was elected to succeed Cecil C. Lowe in the Minden city and Ward I court upon Lowe's election to the 26th Judicial District Court.
After two years on the city court, Kitchens was elected to the 26th Judicial District Court. Kitchens also served three six-year terms on the court until his retirement in 1996. He was chief judge of the 26th District from 1988 through 1995. The Louisiana Bar Foundation in 1995 named him "Jurist of the Year". He served on the Louisiana Judiciary Commission from 1988 to 1992 and again from 1994 to 1996; he was the commission chairman from 1991 to 1992.
His professional honors and recognitions are many and varied including numerous committee memberships and chairman positions for the Louisiana Supreme Court.
He is a member of the LSU Law Center Hall of Fame.
After retirement, Kitchens returned to his law practice, which he specializes in estate planning, family law, personal injury, wills and probates, and real estate. He is also an assistant district attorney for the Bossier-Webster district.
Kitchens has been affiliated with Minden Lions Club, the Junior Chamber, the Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce, the Minden Jaycees and the Minden Industrial Development Corp. He was named Minden's Outstanding Young Man in 1971 and Minden's Man of the Year in 1983.
He is married to the former Roberta Carroll. The Kitchens' have one son, Graydon, III, and two daughters, Amy Lynn Kitchens Butler and Allison Lee Kitchens Copple.
The Kitchens' have long been active in the First Baptist Church of Minden where he has served as a Sunday School teacher, a deacon and chairman of the deacons.