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Obituary for Ellen Pierce
Chief Magistrate Judge Ellen Pierce of Eatonton passed away unexpectedly on March 31, 2018. Ellen was born on May 4, 1956 in Summit, New Jersey to Frank Kemp Jr. and the late JoAnn Kemp. She was preceded in death by her mother JoAnn Kemp, step-mother Barbara Kemp and sister Carol Kemp Williams. Chief Magistrate Judge Ellen Pierce graduated from Ridgeview High School in Atlanta in 1973. She attended the University of Georgia through 1976. In 1978 Judge Pierce began working in the legal field for an attorney in the Atlanta area. Since that time she has worked as a legal secretary and paralegal for several law firms in the Atlanta area in many different areas of the law, including general practice, real estate, domestic relations, wills and trusts, criminal and litigation. Judge Pierce moved to Putnam County in 1990. She continued working in the private field for an attorney in Eatonton until 1993 when she was hired by Judge Yvonne Harrell, Probate Judge and Chief Magistrate of Putnam County. She also was a Clerk of the State Court and Deputy Clerk for the Superintendent of Elections. Judge Harrell retired at the end of 1996, and Judge Pierce was appointed Chief Magistrate by the Superior Court Judges of the Ocmulgee Circuit and began serving January 1, 1997. She was elected to the position of Chief Magistrate in 1998, being re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 and again in 2014. She is survived by her father Frank A. Kemp Jr., sister Cindy Childs (Mike) of Marietta, brother Frank A. Kemp III (Brenda Holland) of Dawsonville, brother-in-law Jerry Williams of McDonough, niece Christine Bridges of Marietta, nephews Thomas Williams of McDonough, Frank A. Kemp IV of Dawsonville, step-brothers Scott Moore (Michelle), Bill Moore (Maggie) step brother Marshall Moore of Michigan, step sister Debbie Finnerty of Massachusetts, step brother Marshall Moore of Michigan, eight step nieces and nephews, two great nephews, and many extended family members. Ellen was an avid animal lover and a cancer survivor. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in her memory.