Charles L. Carnes, of Sandy Springs, passed away on October 14, 2013. Born on December 14,1926, he was the youngest of thirteen children. He grew up in Eton, Georgia, and, prior to his 17th birthday, joined the Navy, where he served on an LST ship in the South Pacific during World War II. He returned home to finish high school before moving to Atlanta where he met the lovely Mary Elizabeth Mayfield, and married her in 1947. Recalled to duty in 1950, he served for two more years in the Navy during the Korean War.
Working during the day to support his family, and with the help of the GI Bill, he earned a bachelor's degree in business and a law degree. In 1965, he was elected to a newly-created seat in the state House of Representatives. Within a year of his election, his colleagues in the Fulton County delegation elected him chairman of that group. He served six terms in the legislature, leaving that body when he was elected, unopposed, to an open judicial seat on the State Court of Fulton County in 1980. Within a year of taking the bench, his colleagues selected him to be their chief judge, and re-elected him each year for the next 17 years. He retired from the bench in 1998, and was greatly honored when the Fulton County Commission named the building in which he had sat as the Charles L. Carnes Judicial Center.
As important as his judicial career was to him, his family was more important. He credited his wife, Mary, whose support and encouragement greatly helped him in every aspect of his life. He and Mary provided their three children with a wonderful childhood, demonstrating how to lead a life of meaning and love, exhibiting a strong work ethic, and showing compassion and kindness to all.
Charles Carnes was predeceased by his loving parents, Jack and Mary Cline Carnes, by his twelve older siblings, and by his son-in-law, Philip Lindsay. He is survived by his wife, Mary; his children Julie Carnes (Steve), Kathleen Lindsay, and Douglas Carnes (Kim); and by his adoring grandchildren, Kelly and Jeffrey Campanella, Matthew and Benjamin Lindsay, and Emily and Charlie Carnes. The family expresses its gratitude to his two wonderful care-givers: Naomi Gude and Rose Howell.
Donations in Judge Carnes' memory may be made to the Children's Village at Christian City, 7345 Red Oak Road, Union City, Georgia 30291 or to your favorite charity. There will be a public viewing Monday from 10am until12noon at Patterson's Spring Hill