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Former District Judge Graydon Kitchens passes

by Amber McDown

Graydon Kelly Kitchens Jr. — family man, lawyer, and judge — passed away on Sunday, June 12  surrounded by family and loved ones. Kitchens has been a fixture of Minden since he was born July 19, 1936. 

Judge Kitchens graduated from Minden High in 1954 and from Louisiana State University in 1958. He married his wife, Roberta Carroll Kitchens, in 1960 and they had three children: Graydon III, Amy, and Allison. 

Kitchens entered into law practice with his father, Graydon Sr., in 1964 when the firm was called Benton & Kitchens. He became the Assistant District Attorney in Webster Parish in 1971. He was elected Minden City Judge in 1976, and became the District Judge for the 26th Judicial District (for Bossier and Webster Parishes) in 1978. He served in that position for 17 years, the last seven years as Chief Judge. Judge Kitchens was named the Louisiana Bar Foundation Jurist of the Year in 1995. After retiring  from the bench in 1995, Kitchens returned to practicing law at Kitchens Law Firm with his brother, Paul, and his son, Graydon III.

Graydon Kitchens’ service to his community extended beyond the law. He was an active Lions Club member for almost 57 years. “The Minden Lions Club mourns the loss of one of our long-time members, but we also rejoice because he’s now healed and with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was  a man of integrity and believed in fighting for what’s right — as was evident by the life he led,” the Lions Club posted.  He was also the President of the Minden Jaycees 1966-1967 and State Treasurer for the Louisiana Jaycees in 1968. 

Kitchens was a member of the First Baptist Church for over 74 years, and served his church as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and choir member. He also served on the board of trustees and on the building committee. His favorite Bible verse was Isaiah 30:21: “And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.’”

“The sweetest, kindest, wisest, funniest, Godliest daddy any girl was ever blessed to have is with Jesus tonight,” said daughter Amy Kitchens Butler. 

Graydon Kelly Kitchens Jr. was beloved by many and will be missed. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday, June 14 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, and the funeral services will be on Wednesday, June 15 at 10 a.m., also at First Baptist Church.

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