Longtime Charleston attorney John Charnock dies

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 22, 2010


CHARLESTON -- Longtime Charleston lawyer John N. Charnock Jr., who also served as the city's attorney and municipal judge, died Monday at the age of 80 after a long battle with cancer.

Charnock suffered from Bellini duct carcinoma, which does not respond well to chemotherapy treatments.

BDC is a form of kidney cancer that is extremely rare, with only 40 cases reported worldwide, according to a 2002 study published in the Journal of International Urology and Nephrology and has a 20 percent survival rate at two years, according to a 2003 study published in the Journal of Urology.

Charnock retired from public office in the early 1990s, but continued at his law firm, run by him and his daughter, Anne Charnock, until he became too ill to work earlier this month.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones mentioned Charnock's passing at the City Council meeting Monday night. City Councilman Jack Harrison honored him during prayer at city hall, asking for comfort for Charnock's family.

Charnock was married to his late wife, Patricia Ann Caldwell, for 46 years and they had five children: Anne Charnock, Jane Charnock Smallridge, Mary Lynn Harless, John Charnock and William Charnock. He is also survived by his sister, Isabelle Charnock, and five grandsons: Jonathan and Robert Harless, John Patrick Jr., Ryan Charnock and Will Charnock Jr.

He was a graduate of West Virginia University, where he was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity, and obtained his law degree from WVU College of Law.

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