CHARLESTON, W.Va. — “A true gentleman” is how state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robin Davis describes former Justice Elliot “Spike” Maynard, 71, who died Thursday night at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Memorial Hospital. He had been a patient there since early April for an undisclosed illness.
“He was a really good friend. He was a wonderful colleague and I’m very sad and I will miss him terribly,” said Davis of Maynard on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” She said she did not know Maynard before the two started serving together on the state Supreme Court. Maynard was elected to a 12-year term, as a Democrat, in 1996.
“He was the consummate professional. He was an elegant man. He was a very gentle man,” said Davis. “The depth of his intelligence, with regard to the law and just everything, he was a great guy.”
Maynard served on the state’s High Court for one term. He lost a reelection bid in 2008 after being linked to former Massey CEO Don Blankenship who was part of a civil case the Supreme Court considered.
Two years later, Maynard switched parties and unsuccessfully ran for Congress in the 3rd District, as a Republican, against current Congressman Nick Rahall.
Before being elected to the state Supreme Court, Maynard served as a circuit judge in Mingo County’s 30th Judicial Circuit for more than 15 years and, at one time, was Mingo County’s prosecuting attorney. “He provided a lifetime of service to West Virginians,” said Davis of Maynard, a Williamson native.
“Those who knew Spike well can easily recall his good-hearted nature, gentility and quick wit. I can’t imagine a single person who met Spike who will ever forget him,” said Conrad Lucas, state Republican Party chair, in a statement issued on Thursday night.
Visitation for Maynard will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Weaver Mortuary in Williamson. His funeral is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Belfry Baptist Church on Route 119 south in Goody, Ky.