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James E. Bondurant Obituary December 2013
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Longtime Trustee James E. Bondurant Helped Shape LWC

Posted on Thursday, December 26, 2013 [6:00 PM]

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Longtime Lindsey Wilson College trustee Judge James E. Bondurant was remembered as one of the "critical leaders" who helped the college during a period of "incredible transition and growth."

Bondurant, formerly of \Hodgenville, Ky., died Thursday, Dec. 26, at the age of 84.

 

Bondurant served on the Lindsey Wilson Board of Trustees for more than 30 years, joining it in 1979 when the school was a junior college. He was chairman of the board from 1984-1989, during which time he helped Lindsey Wilson make the transition to a liberal arts college.

 

"Judge Bondurant was one of the giants of Lindsey Wilson," said Lindsey Wilson President William T. Luckey Jr. "He worked closely with three of the college's presidents, and he was an invaluable leader, adviser and mentor to all three."

 

LWC Chancellor John B. Begley -- who was LWC's sixth president when Bondurant became a trustee -- said Bondurant was an important voice on the board.

 

"He was among a group of critical leaders who guided this college through a period of incredible transition and growth," Begley said.

 

In 1989, Bondurant was given the LWC Distinguished Service Award for his leadership as board chair. During his tenure as board chair, Lindsey Wilson's student body, faculty and budget more than doubled and three buildings were added to its A.P. White Campus.

 

"I very much appreciate this honor from Lindsey Wilson College," Bondurant said in 1989. "I'm proud of the progress made by Lindsey Wilson in the past several years, and I look forward to even more progress this next decade."

 

Bondurant then became chair of the LWC Board of Trustees Executive Committee, a position that allowed him to continue to work closely with the college's administration. In 1993, he received a doctorate of letters, honoris causa, from LWC.

 

Born in Charlestown, Ind., Bondurant grew up in Brandenburg, Ky., and he was a leader in the Kentucky Methodist Church. He once said that his first memory of a minister as a child was the Rev. Victor P. Henry, who went on to become the third president of Lindsey Wilson.

 

A graduate of Meade County High School, Bondurant earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Kentucky.

 

A Navy veteran and an officer in the Army Reserves, Bondurant practiced law in Hodgenville, Ky., and also served two terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives. He was elected  judge of Kentucky's 10th Judicial District in 1985 until his retirement. In 2000 the Kentucky Supreme Court chief justice appointed him as the commonwealth's first senior judge.

 

Bondurant claims the record for having held court in more counties in Kentucky than any other judge, past or present.

 

Bondurant also served on the board of Alliant Corporation, which operated Kentucky's Methodist Evangelical Hospital, Norton Hospital and Kosair Children's Hospital; he helped organize First Citizens Bank in Elizabethtown, Ky.; and he owned and operated a 300-acre farm in the Doe Valley area of LaRue County, Ky.

 

In 2011, Bondurant was inducted into the Meade County High School Alumni Association Hall of Fame.

 

Bondurant is survived by his wife, Kaye, of more than 60 years, two children, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

 

Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. ET Friday, Dec. 27, at Bennett-Bertram, 208 W Water St, Hodgenville, Ky., and the funeral will be 11 a.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 28, at the LaRue County Courthouse, 209 W High St, Hodgenville, Ky.

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