U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield passes away after battle with cancer

U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield passes away after battle with cancer
Published: May. 10, 2015 at 3:52 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2015 at 3:52 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - U.S. District Judge B. Avant Edenfield has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Edenfield died in a Savannah hospital early Saturday morning at the age of 80.

A native of Bulloch County, he practiced law in Statesboro for 20 years as a successful trial lawyer. He was then appointed to the Federal Bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1978, where he served for the Southern District of Georgia.

Edenfield was Chief Judge from 1990-97, and also served on the 11th Circuit Judicial Council. In 2006, he moved to senior judge status.

He'd been practicing law here in his native Bulloch County for 20 years when President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the federal bench. One of his ongoing duties over the next decades was implementing the civil rights legislation and making sure counties across South Georgia had the proportional number of minority seats on their county commission, school board and others. And his reputation stretches far and wide.

"He truly did represent this part of Georgia very well on the bench and he will certainly be missed," Governor Nathan Deal said.

He also served in the United States Army.

Edenfield is survived by his wife, Melvis Bryant Edenfield.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Tuesday at Independent Presbyterian Church.

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