Memory Hold The Door
Justice A. Lee Chandler
1922 - 2012
Justice A. Lee Chandler was born on December 16,
1922, in Orangeburg, SC, to parents William E.
Chandler and Ella R. Dukes Chandler. He was a member
of the 1944 class at The Citadel. That class had to give
up its senior year to be inducted into the U.S. Army.
They became known as "The Class That Never Was."
Thirty-four members of the class died during World War
II. Chandler received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Justice Chandler attended George Washington
University, the USC School of Law and the Vocation
Diaconate School of the Diocese of S.C. He was
ordained as a deacon of the Episcopal Church in 1999 and received an Honorary
Doctorate of Law degree from The Citadel in 1994.
In 1953, he moved to Darlington, where he practiced as a trial attorney. He was
elected to the S.C. House of Representatives in 1972 and was appointed as circuit
court judge in 1976, where he became resident judge for the Fourth Judicial Circuit
until he was elected to the S.C. Supreme Court. After his retirement from the
Court, he served as co-chair of the S.C. Supreme Court's pilot program on
Alternative Dispute Resolution.
He was a member of the S.C. Trial Lawyers Association, was named Most
Outstanding Member in 1974 and was the association's Portrait Honoree in 1983.
In 1976, he was recognized as the Professional of the Year by the Darlington
Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the S.C. Bar and received the Bar
Foundation's Durant Distinguished Public Service Award in 1998. He was active in
The Citadel's Inn of Court program and served as its Chief Bencher.
He was the first chairman of the Darlington County Development Board, and
in 2001 the board's building was named in his honor. He served as chairman of the
Florence-Darlington Technical College Board and charter member of the State
ETV Commission. He received the Order of the Palmetto in 2002.
Following his retirement from the judiciary, Chandler served as deacon at St.
Matthews Church in Darlington and St. Andrews Church in Mt. Pleasant. He was
active in many aspects of church life, serving as Sunday school teacher, Episcopal
Young Churchmen Sponsor, Men's Club President, Vestry, junior and senior warden.
He was co-founder and longtime member of the Darlington Rotary Club, serving
as its second president. He was president of the Darlington Country Club and
St. John's High School Booster Club.
Justice A. Lee Chandler died on July 18, 2012. He is survived by his daughter,
Jane C. Rouse (son-in-law, Robert); grandson, R. Wilson Rouse Jr. (granddaughter-in-
law, Pendleton); and great granddaughter, Elizabeth W. Rouse.