David Kendall Ginn, 75, of Johns Creek passed away peacefully on April 14, 2022. Dave lived the best life a man can live during his time on this earth, drinking the best wine, cooking and enjoying the best food, traveling the world, and loving his family. He enjoyed laughter and a good joke – none better than his own! – and would frequently laugh himself to tears, particularly after making an especially bad pun. His memory will be cherished by his wife, Alexis; son David Ginn and his partner David McCarthy; daughter Kendra Ginn Portman and her husband Will Portman; grandson West Portman; brother Rob Ginn and his family; sister Barbara Ginn and her family; and many extended family members and friends.
Born in 1946 in Chicago, Dave was the eldest child of David McMichael Ginn and Mary Kendall Ginn. His family moved to Winder, Georgia in 1959. Dave graduated from Winder Barrow High School as the Star Student and earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. He went on to graduate from the University of Georgia School of Law, where he was a member of the Georgia Law Review and Executive Editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Law.
After law school, Dave and his friend Rollin Mallernee traveled through Europe and Africa for eight months, dodging hippopotamuses and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. The experience ignited a passion for travel that lasted his whole life. He would plan many unforgettable trips for his family over the years, including to Italy, France, Thailand, Australia, Costa Rica, Greece, and New Zealand. Dave never stopped looking forward to the next trip and was imagining and planning his latest adventure until the end.
In 1972, while serving as an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dave was assigned to a case with a young co-counsel from the Department of Justice, Alexis Panagakos. Their partnership began inauspiciously: Dave proposed that Alexis should write the brief and he would review it; Alexis countered that he should write the brief and she would review it; and after reaching a stalemate, they ended up writing two separate briefs. Relations between the co-counsel eventually warmed, and Dave and Alexis fell in love and later married in 1975. They built a solid partnership, each complementing the other, and never stopped enjoying each other’s company for the next 46 years.
Dave and Alexis moved to San Francisco in 1978, where Dave practiced employment and corporate law at Levi Strauss, and then back to Georgia in 1989. Dave served as General Counsel of Oxford Industries in Atlanta and later as an attorney for Primerica, Inc., in Duluth.
Dave was devoted to his two children, David and Kendra. He shared a number of traditions with them, including camping and rafting trips on the Nantahala River, reading the newspaper comics, annual trips to the Nutcracker ballet, and the essential weekly pilgrimage to Costco. He taught his children to be humble and caring, to appreciate life’s small absurdities, and to value family.
Dave was deeply curious about the world, loved nature and animals, and was a voracious reader. He was also a wine enthusiast and a member of the Atlanta chapter of the Commanderie de Bordeaux. He became lifelong friends with a group of fellow oenophiles who referred to themselves affectionately as the Galoots. A highlight of the Galoots’ friendship was a weeklong trip to celebrate the turn of the millennium with their families at the Maison Pic in France, where they enjoyed food and wine from each decade of the twentieth century.
Those who knew Dave have said he was the kindest and gentlest person they knew and were better for knowing him. He was unfailingly generous and gracious to friends and strangers alike. He built houses with Habitat for Humanity and supported the local charity guild each year by hosting a dinner and wine tasting for auction. Above all else, Dave loved his family.
If you wish to make a gift in Dave’s memory, please consider a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation (https://www.michaeljfox.org/donate/make-donation-tribute) or the Parkinson’s Foundation (https://www.parkinson.org/ways-to-give).