James Haggard Kinnard

  • "My daddy (Sammy Burgess) was always talking about "James..."
    - Lea Ann Burgess Bolick
  • "Thoughts and prayers to the Kinnard Family. Much love to..."
    - Sheila Dotson
  • "Our prayers are with you all at this time. James, was a..."
    - Sam Burgess
  • "I am saddened to hear of the passing of Jim. The first..."
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  • "I shall miss a good friend, tennis partner, storyteller and..."
    - Terry McDonald

James Haggard Kinnard

Lebanon, TN

Kinnard, James H. (Jim), age 80 of Lebanon, TN, died unexpectedly Thursday, May 15, 2014 at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.

He is survived by his wife, Sisi Hillis Wilson of Lebanon; three daughters, Emily Kinnard Bell (Rodney), Rebekah Kinnard Taylor (Jeff), Sarah Wilson, and four grandchildren, Carolyn Lucille Hebb, Lincoln Burgess Taylor, Eliza Vanderpool Taylor, and William Grant Taylor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joshua Owen Kinnard and Blanche Burgess Kinnard.

Jim was born on October 22, 1933 in Sparta, Tennessee. In 1947, Jim graduated from White County High School as the Salutatorian; an honor he believes was unjustly given to him due to a grade school mishap at the water pump with Flavius McBride. Jim accidentally smashed the pinkie finger of Flavius, leaving him with poor marks for penmanship for the remaining 10 years of school. Though Jim had been announced as the Valedictorian, the principal believed it was only fair that marks for penmanship not be considered toward the final class standings, giving Flavius a higher GPA. Jim held no ill will toward Flavius, his best friend, but forever begrudged his principal.

Jim earned his way through college by raising two brood sows given to him by his parents. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a B.S. in Business. Following graduation, he served in the Signal Corps of US Army where he was stationed in France. He earned an LL.B with Juris Doctor Degree, from the Nashville School of Law and began practicing law in 1966, a profession he continued until the final day of his life. He was the organizing attorney for Cracker Barrel, where he copyrighted the menu and registered the building design. He was recently honored by the Wilson County Bar Association with a lifetime achievement award, where he discussed some of his more memorable cases - the Clemson Spineless Split-Leaf Okra Seed Case and the Garland Allen Case. Mr. Allen was charged with a Class E Felony for impersonating a barber. The case was heard and won in Memphis with Mr. Garland offering to cut Mr. Kinnard's hair. Ultimately, the court determined that Mr. Kinnard did not have enough hair to prove this point. The case resulted in the Garland Allen Law, replacing the Jim Crow Barber Law.

Jim was also instrumental in establishing the University Medical Center in Lebanon by getting a Certificate of Need, an endeavor that took five years and was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.

Jim served on the board of Castle Heights Military Academy, the alma mater of his children, from 1979 until the school's closing in 1986. He loved tennis, college sports, and was an avid reader. He gave his children the gift of language, storytelling and humor. Last Saturday, he congratulated his oldest grandchild upon her graduation from the University of the South, and was looking forward to a trip to Utah this weekend to visit his oldest grandson, who is currently in flight school.

The funeral will be held on Sunday, May 18th at 3 p.m., at the Partlow Funeral Home, 602 S. Cumberland Street in Lebanon, TN. Visitation will be held Sunday from 1-3 p.m., at the same location.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorial donations be made to the William R. Pease, Jr. Memorial Scholarship at Tennessee Technological University, College of Agriculture, 1 William L. Jones Drive, Cookeville, TN 38505; or the Castle Heights National Alumni Association, c/o Rob Hoosier, 1045 Woodmont Drive, Gallatin, TN 37066.

Partlow Funeral Chapel, (615) 444-7007; Obituary Line, (615) 444-7700.


Published in The Tennessean on May 17, 2014
Funeral Home
Partlow Funeral Chapel
602 S. Cumberland St Lebanon, TN 37087
Funeral Home Details