Carol Connor was born January 2, 1950 in Kingstree, South Carolina to Wallace Darlington Connor and Polly McGill Connor. She graduated from Kingstree High School in 1968 and from Converse College in 1972. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina in 1976 and was a member of the Moot Court.
Upon graduation from Law School, Judge Connor worked as an Assistant South Carolina Attorney General from 1976 to 1977, and, in 1977 she joined the Richland County Public Defenders Office until 1981 when she entered private practice in Richard County, South Carolina. She was elected to the South Carolina Family Court in 1983 and served until 1988. After outstanding service as a Family Court Judge, she became the first woman to serve as a South Carolina Circuit Judge, having been elected in 1988, and was also the first woman to serve as an acting member of the South Carolina Supreme Court. She was elected to the South Carolina Court of Appeals in 1993 where she served until her retirement due to illness. During Judge Connor’s early years as an attorney and member of our judiciary, women lawyers were just beginning to take their rightful place in the legal profession. They could have asked for no better forerunner than Judge Connor.
Judge Connor was involved in many civic and Bar related activities, receiving numerous honors which included the Jean Galloway Bissell Award presented by the South Carolina Women Lawyer’s Association; the John Williams Award, presented by the Richland County Bar Association; and the Annual Portrait recognition of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association.
She was a volunteer, mentor and educator. She volunteered countless hours speaking at forums and on panels to encourage young women to pursue their dreams and was an example to all young lawyers of South Carolina. She was an active member of Washington Street Methodist Church and twice commencement speaker at Converse College.
She is survived by her husband, Palmer Freeman, her sons, Timothy Murphy, Wallace Connor Freeman, and Daniel McGill Freeman, her mother, Polly McGill Connor, and her sisters, Louise Connor and Paula Connor Sellars.