BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — After 60 years of service in the Mountain State, a former local and West Virginia Supreme Court judge is honored with a lifetime award.

Warren McGraw is the recipient of the 2022 Caplan Award.

Throughout his career, McGraw served in several different branches of government. He was a member of both the West Virginia House of Delegates and the State Senate for a total of 16 years, including 4 as Senate President.

In 1998, McGraw was named to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals and served there for 6 years.

J.R. Carter, a lifelong friend of McGraw’s, spoke about how he was affected by McGraw’s career.

“Seeing his career and what he was able to do, for me growing up, made me aware that through grit and determination and hard work, I could achieve great things in life just like he did,” said Carter. “He always put public service ahead of anything and by making his career more well known to people throughout the state, perhaps it can inspire other young lawyers to go on and have careers to dedicate themselves to public service.”

Carter was not the only one who was inspired by McGraw to become a lawyer. His daughter, Suzanne, followed in his footsteps. She even attended Wake Forest Law School, the same school he went to. She hopes her father and his career can serve as a reminder to fight for what’s right.

“What’s popular might not be right but that was right and that’s what my father has always done, what is right,” said Suzanne. “And I hope that does inspire future generations ’cause if we don’t do what’s right, where are we going to be as a society.”

McGraw retired on West Virginia Day in 2021, due to health concerns arising from his battle with Parkinson’s Disease.