Saturday, November 19

Steve Kodman

I lost one of my best friends recently.  Most of you in the political world will never know the name of Steve Kodman.  Frankly, Kodman would have it that way.

But, he was my friend, one of my truest friends.  I met him way back in 1988 at a scholarship competition at then Lander College.  We both were interviewing for full scholarships.  Kodman oozed confidence.  He spoke to me, right away, about a girl he wanted to date.  She was a softball star named Jennifer.  Steve and I both ended up at Lander with scholarships and we struck a friendship up that has been one of the richest in my life.  Steve taught me how to coach when we coached basketball together.

When Steve’s car was not up to par, I would drive him to Clemson to see his softball star. I was fortunate to be one of the men who stood by Steve as he took Jennifer for his wife back in 1994.  I was there when their first boy was born. As fate would have, I was one of the men who toted Steve to his final resting place.  All of it was a privilege .  Steve was there for me in so many ways.

Fraternally, he was my “big brother,” ushering me through the pledging process.  But, more than that, he always was a brother to me. He was a real big brother.  He was my coach, my mentor. He was a man who showed me, even sick, how to be a man.   I always looked up to him and followed him to USC Law and took his career advice.  At my lowest moments, Steve always had my back.

So, it crushed me when I could not have his.  After we worked together to get Alan Wilson nominated as the Republican candidate for Attorney General last summer, I learned that Steve was diagnosed with Stage Four Lung Cancer.  When he was diagnosed, Steve had cancer that had spread to his bones in his ribs.

Steve spent his life fighting for the right things, as a prosecutor in Aiken, Lexington and Horry counties and in the Attorney General’s office.  So when faced with the fight of his life, Steve fought with the courage that defined him.  Steve had a way of encouraging people who were trying to encourage him. That was his way.  Steve Kodman was John Wayne in a puissant world and I will get sideways with anyone who says otherwise.

But, like so many, Steve lost his fight.  I lost one of the best friends I ever had.  But my own self pity is tempered when I think how his wife Jennifer lost a beloved husband and how his boys, Patrick, Thomas and Drew lost a devoted father.

I have traveled a lot through this state.  I met all kinds of people.  God has blessed me with that.  But, in all my travels, in all my experiences, I never met a soul more dedicated to doing right than Steve Kodman.  He was loyal to his wife and kids.  He was loyal to his friends.  He fought for justice.  I will miss him so much, and this world will be less without him in it.  Rest in Peace, my brother.
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