"He was one of the happiest people Iíve ever known," Caterbury Elementary School Principal Mary Morrison said of Graham Chynoweth, the Concord attorney who died Thanksgiving Day. He was 63.
Chynoweth, of Chynoweth Cornell Legal Services, was a beloved member of the Concord community and was active in numerous associations and groups.
Born in England, Chynoweth spent his childhood in Germany, Japan, California and Washington, D.C. After high school, he entered the Coast Guard Academy and upon graduation spent a year in the Coast Guard, during which he served a tour off the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
Upon his return to civilian life, Chynoweth attended graduate school for a degree in hospital administration before deciding to pursue a law career. He then enrolled at the Franklin Pierce Law School. While in law school, Chynoweth was elected as a state representative.
In 1983, Chynoweth graduated from Pierce Law and helped found the law firm of Barnes, Bender & Chynoweth.
In the early 1990s, he left and founded Chynoweth Legal Services, where he practiced family law and complex civil litigation. Mark Cornell, his partner since 2006, described Chynoweth as a lawyer of impeccable integrity.
"He would never come close to any lines, let alone cross them," Cornell said.
Chynoweth was active in the affairs of the New Hampshire Bar Association and was currently chair of the Family Law Section. In the past, he served on the NHBA Board of Governors as Merrimack County Governor. He served the Association in other capacities, too, among them as a member of the former Real Estate, Probate and Trust Section and of the Alternative Dispute Committee. He was also a member of the Merrimack County Bar Association and a former member of the NH Trial Lawyers Association.
In his community, Chynoweth served on the board of the Shaker Regional School District, encouraged interfaith dialogue between area religious institutions and volunteered at the Canterbury Elementary School.
In the late 1970s, after becoming concerned with the status of statewide news gathering, he developed the idea of New Hampshire Public Radio and worked to rally support for the station.
His was the first voice on air when the station, then known as WEVO, gave its maiden broadcast on Aug. 4, 1981, said his son, Gray. Chynoweth went on to host a weekend folk music program, sharing the music he grew to appreciate at contra dances throughout the area.
During his two terms on the Shaker Regional School Board, he contributed his insight about the significance of language to discussions about dozens of outdated policies, said superintendent Mike Cozort.
Deeply involved in the Quaker Community, he joined the Concord Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in 1973.