NOV. 1, 2018 – Family, friends, colleagues and members of the Charleston School of Law community gathered on October 30 for a reception and unveiling of the portrait of Professor Virginia “Ginny” Darden Meeks, who passed away from breast cancer in February 2017.
Meeks taught courses in wills, trusts and estates and tax at the Charleston School of Law from 2010 until shortly before her death. Before joining the law school, she had practiced law for 12 years, most recently with the Charleston law firm, Evans, Carter, Kunes & Bennett.
Meeks was a talented professor and attorney who was beloved for her kindness, humor and service to others. “In her personal life, the needs of her friends and her wonderful family always came first. And in her professional life, it was always about the law school, about her colleagues and most importantly about her students,” Dean Andy Abrams said.
The portrait was funded with proceeds from the Charleston County Probate Court’s annual seminar. The Mills House sponsors the seminar each year which has allowed the probate court to establish a portrait fund.
“Ginny regularly spoke at probate court seminars and was an important member of the local probate bar for many years, as well as a good friend to many,” Charleston County Probate Judge Irv Condon said. “We are glad we could honor her in this way.”
Local artist Charles DeAntonio painted the portrait but passed away from cancer before its completion. His son, also named Charles, finished the portrait and attended the touching ceremony.
The ceremony included remarks from Judge Condon, Dean Abrams and Ashley Redmond, executive director of the Foundation of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.
Meeks had helped create and volunteered at a legal clinic at the Roper St. Francis Cancer Center that provides medical and durable powers of attorney and living wills for cancer patients and their spouses. Redmond explained how the legal clinic is now named in Meeks’ honor.
The stars of the evening were Meeks’ children, Darden and Nolen Shuman, along with Meeks’ sister, Sydney Meeks Fowler, who gave tributes.
“Ginny’s family extends its heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this portrait and this evening possible, especially Dean Abrams and the law school, Judge Condon and the Charleston probate bar, and the reception hosts. We are so honored to hear from the Roper St. Francis Foundation about the naming of the legal clinic, and we are overwhelmed by the support and love felt in this room tonight. We are also deeply grateful to the artists, whose kindness, dedication and talent are all on display in this wonderful tribute to our beloved mother, daughter and sister,” Fowler said.
Meeks’ portrait will find its home in the building that houses the Charleston School of Law Library. “It is a privilege to have Ginny’s portrait adorn our walls, reminding us every day what it truly means to live a life for the good of others,” Abrams said.