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Dunbar Funeral Home (Devine)

3926 Devine ST, Columbia, SC

OBITUARY

James Samuel "Jim" Konduros

August 18, 1931March 13, 2020

COLUMBIA - James Samuel Konduros, 88, died on Friday, March 13, 2020, following a valiant battle with cancer. He was the son of the late Sam and Georgia Konduros of Anderson, SC, who immigrated to the United States from the region surrounding Sparta, Greece, in the midst of the Great Depression. “Jim” was affectionately regarded by his family and peers as a “Spartan warrior”, which was a tribute to the depth of his rich Greek heritage and the resilient love of his parents who navigated life and prospered in a new country while raising him.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Kathy Huggins Konduros; his children, Dr. Gregory James Konduros (wife Cindy), Samuel James Konduros, Esq. (wife Aphrodite), Gia Theresa Conalee Diamaduros (husband Pete); his grandchildren, Konstantine Diamaduros, Esq. (fiancée Megan), Ann Malek Wooten (husband Jay), Elee Diamaduros, Gregory Konduros, Henry Shelor Konduros Duffee, Jr., Esq. (wife Staci), Gwyn Konduros Duffee; a great-grandson, Henry Shelor Konduros Duffee, III; his daughter-in-law, Gracelyn Elmendorf (husband Peter); and his brother-in-law, Representative “Chip” Huggins (wife Ginger) and their children Hiller Huggins and Laine Jones (husband Nathan). He was predeceased by his son, Henry “Skipper” Shelor Konduros Duffee, Sr., and a grandson Robert Harby Konduros Duffee.

Konduros was a 1954 graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Law, which he credits with helping to mold and shape him into the strategic thinker, trusted advisor, and legal counselor roles that resonated throughout his rewarding professional life. Upon graduation from law school, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and served two years of active duty at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia, as Base Information Officer. He was honorably discharged in 1956. His signature career included working shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. Senator Olin D. Johnston and SC Governor Robert E. McNair, advising major corporations, and serving as senior counsel to a flagship hospital system CEO, as well as leading several impactful nonprofit organizations. On a personal note, as an avid and accomplished golfer for decades, Konduros was a member of the USC Golf Team and led the Windsor (Canada) Open as an amateur – and was grateful in later years that he had the privilege of playing the iconic “Amen Corner” at Augusta National Golf Club one stroke under par.

Jim’s prolific journey in public service began in the early 1960s as Legislative Assistant to Senator Olin D. Johnston and advocate in the nation’s “War on Poverty”, which he continued as a key member of Governor Robert McNair’s leadership team in future years after returning to South Carolina in 1966. During that tumultuous era in modern American history, he recalled meeting with Martin Luther King, Sr. alongside Governor McNair in an effort to improve race relations. And decades later, his USC honorary doctorate degree was fittingly awarded along with iconic American civil rights leader, US Representative John Lewis. Prior to his position on McNair’s staff, Konduros served as the first Director of the Appalachia Commission for South Carolina, during which he brought together the S.C. Highway Commission and the Appalachia Commission to construct the heralded 72-mile Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (S.C. Hwy. 11) which spectacularly traverses South Carolina’s foothills near the base of the Palmetto State’s highest peaks. In later years, he also helped create the Appalachia Community Service Network, which he chaired, an educational cable channel that later became the catalyst for The Learning Channel among others, ushering in a new era of educational TV readily available to millions of US citizens, particularly in remote, rural areas. Konduros was elected to the founding Board of Directors of the Learning Channel where he served until its sale to the Discovery Channel.

After Governor McNair’s second-term ended in 1971, Konduros joined him as a co-founder of a new Columbia, SC-based law firm, which would become the largest in the state for a period of years, initially known as McNair Konduros & Corley, and ultimately The McNair Law Firm, P.A., developing and supervising a governmental affairs practice among many other leadership roles he fulfilled. During his 20-year tenure with the McNair Law Firm he opened and managed the firm’s Washington office, along with advising major clients ranging from Westinghouse in its successful bid to assume operations at the Savannah River Site, to serving as senior counsel to Palmetto Health CEO, Charles Beaman, in designing and navigating the successful merger of Baptist Medical Center and Richland Memorial Hospital, which became Palmetto Health, and most recently Prisma Health Midlands.

Following his tenure at the McNair Firm, Konduros became president of the PSARAS Foundation, a SC nonprofit organization primarily engaged in Jim’s deep passion for supporting education and community services within the state of South Carolina. In that unique role, he awarded $2 million to endow the Robert E. McNair Scholarship program at Francis Marion University to begin rural leadership and preventive health initiatives along the I-95 Corridor of SC, known as being one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the state. That program has flourished through competitive academic scholarships that fully fund tuition, fees, book allowances, and room-and-board for the four years the selected scholars attend FMU. He also became a passionate funding champion for the First Steps Program, and its goal to help reinvent and revolutionize early public education in South Carolina. In 2010, Konduros was honored with a SC House of Representatives Resolution recognizing his transformative work at Psaras and the profound difference it has made in the lives of many citizens.

Thereafter, Konduros established the Konduros Fisherman’s Fund, recalling the adage that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish, as you feed him for a lifetime. Among numerous other grantees, in 2012, the Konduros Fisherman’s Fund teamed up with the Rachel Hodges Leadership Institute to train more than 350 American Red Cross executives and development staff in a variety of leadership and disaster courses. Since 2014, in his role as Chairman of the Fisherman’s Fund, Konduros directed $2.15 million to the University of South Carolina School of Law to enrich and empower the preeminent SC institution of higher learning in cultivating future state leaders. This legacy gesture was in part a result of Henry D. McMaster Sr., who helped facilitate the bringing together of Jim and the university, with the direct support of then USC President, Harris Pastides, to create innovative programs designed to provide law school scholarships to exceptional recipients, many of whom had served in the military, along with the creation of the Konduros Leadership Development Program at the USC School of Law, which supports scholarships and summer internships for students aspiring to work in public service to give back to their state and communities through governmental and non-profit agencies. In 2019, the newly opened USC School of Law dedicated the James S. Konduros Courtyard.

Konduros’ passion for public service was also an extension of his love for God and church. He served as co-chair of the building campaign for Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Columbia which raised $2 million to create a new Hellenic Center Parish Hall, in the central business district of SC’s capital city.

Amongst his many honors, Konduros was awarded Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award in South Carolina, along with honorary doctorates from both Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina.

Based on the extraordinary circumstances currently surrounding the Coronavirus public health crisis, a private family graveside service will be held on Wednesday, March 18th in Columbia; however, a Memorial Service celebrating Jim’s life will be scheduled and announced in the near future.

Special heartfelt thanks to His Excellency, Governor Henry D. and Mrs. McMaster and the Edwin Breazeales for their unwavering friendship and compassion during his life and final illness, and the many caregivers, including Dr. Scott Antonia of Duke Cancer Center and Dr. James Wells of Lexington Oncology Associates, Amedysis Hospice, Senior Matters, and the staff at Warriors’ Walk at the Veterans Administration Hospital campus in Columbia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any desired memorials be made to the USC Foundation on behalf of the Konduros Scholarship Fund, c/o USC School of Law Development Office, 1525 Senate Street, Suite 255, Columbia, SC 29208, or to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 1931 Sumter Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Memories may be shared at www.dunbarfunerals.com.

Services

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Memories

James Samuel "Jim" Konduros

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Betty Wheeler

March 24, 2020

The world lost a true angel for humanity. Not only me, but my girls, Cheryl and Stephanie, were blessed in so many ways having known our Mr. K, as well as his beautiful, Kathy.
Betty Wheeler

Bill Brissey

March 19, 2020

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jim Konduros passing,I send my love to the Konduros family at this time of great sorrow. Jim was one of my closest friends while growing up in Anderson more than 80 years ago, What a time we had at old Boys High School ! Jim has done so much to help people in all walks of life makes me so proud to have known him.Jim was encouraging people to improve their lives even in high school in the late forties.He encouraged me to continue my education beyond high school and I will always grateful to my friend Jim Konduros



David Jordan

March 19, 2020

I was sorry to hear about Mr. Konduros. He and the McNair Law Firm did work for our company in the 1970's and 1980's. He was an excellent attorney and a credit to his profession.

John L Napier

March 17, 2020

Pam and I send our deepest sympathy to the family and we are grateful to have known Jim. We salute his many contributions to make for a better world. Over the last half century he was at the forefront of business, law, politics and good public policy in all things good in our State. We are a better people because of Jim Konduros and all he accomplished. We join in celebrating the life of a wonderful, strong and accomplished leader whom we admired greatly. Pam and John Napier, Pawleys Island. SC

Shirley Phillips

March 17, 2020

Dear Aphrodite and Sam,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. What a wonderful legacy your loved one leaves behind! My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

With love and sincere sympathy.
Shirley Phillips

Dave Wilson

March 17, 2020

Jim was one of the wisest men I had the privilege of ever meeting. While a fierce advocate for this state, he taught me that at any age, you have to stand up for what is right and true. Several years back, he spoke on behalf of the youngest children of South Carolina during a committee hearing on early childhood education. I remember seeing him there, stately as he was, extolling the work that had been done in the days of Gov. McNair — policies and ideas that are finally being implemented today.

That white hair was just a mere representation of the aged wisdom he shared with me. I will be forever grateful.

Nick and Emilie Theodore

March 17, 2020

The Nick Theodore family was deeply saddened to learn of Jimmy Konduros passing and the physical pains encountered of the past several months. Knowing James,as I affectionately called him, was a true blessing for me and my family.
One of the blessings was to know this unique Man for his entire life commencing with his childhood days in Anderson,S.C. through his glory days in Washington,D.C. , Greenville and Columbia, S.C. James established a track record in the worlds of government, law,
business, education and religious unparalleled in our great state of South Carolina.
James and I served together as Altar Boys in the St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Greenville, S.C. participating together in a number of Youth Activities. I recognized his people skills early on and was convinced he was a special man destined to contribute so very much for so many, in the areas of Law and education nationwide.
James touched so many lives and his impact , service to others and especially his handsome face will be missed in the landscape of South Carolina.
MAY HIS MEMORY BE ETERNAL !
Nick Theodore

Susanne Whiddon

March 17, 2020

Aphrodite,
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of a wonderful family member. Your DSS friends are praying for you and Sam.
Susanne Whiddon

John Andy Susan Zourzoukis

March 16, 2020

It was with great sadness that we learned of Mr Konduros’ passing. I felt lucky to have known him , worked with him on various church projects and to have had his council. It was an honor to have called him friend.

While he will be greatly missed by his family and friends, he is now in place where he can rest. “Well done good and faithful servant.”

May his memory be eternal.

Fletcher Spigner III

March 16, 2020

The Spigner Family of South Carolina expresses its sincere condolences. I have many fond and sentimental memories of working in the "War on Poverty" and of my intimate association with the McNair family. I was aware of Jim's skill, character and reputation through Bob McNair and my uncle E. McLeod Singletary.

I am truly sorry to hear this. My prayers are with you. Love to all.

Fletcher Spigner III
Lexington, SC
FSpigner@aol.com

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY