Richard (Curtis) Brasher
Richard C. Brasher (Curtis) was born July 29, 1931 in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He was the only child of Eugene and Artie Brasher, and the grandson and namesake of Curtis Alexander Brasher. In 1962 he married Annabelle West Jensen and became stepfather to her two children, Tracie Jensen Jacquemin and James Jensen. He told everyone that this was the best day of his life - becoming a husband and a father at the same time. He adored his four grandchildren: Juliana, Olivia and Marissa Jacquemin and Richard Ming Jensen. He was the best father and grandfather that anyone could ask for, and considered himself the luckiest man in the world.
At age 14, he became the head of his household when his father passed away at 68. He began working at Kroger grocery store after school to support his mother and family. At 17 he was asked to join First City Bank and Trust Company, an opportunity which he accepted on the spot; he would go on to spend his entire 47 year career with First City. After starting as a runner before becoming a teller, he became head of the Trust Department at just 25 years of age. During his time there he touched many lives. He retired from First City at age 65 as Senior Vice President and remained on the Board of Directors for another 5 years.
Curtis had an eventful life. In addition to his career, he was a member of the Rotary and Elks Clubs. From 1964 to 1968, he was the Chairman of the Hopkinsville City School Board during a unique and complicated time of civil unrest. Together, Curtis and Annabelle created a plan that smoothly integrated the Hopkinsville public school system. Another accomplishment of his school board tenure was the construction of the high school gym and swimming pool. Additionally, Curtis served in the Kentucky National Guard and was an avid Kentucky Wildcats fan his entire life. Furthermore, he received and accepted an invitation to join the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the highest honor the commonwealth’s governor can give. The title is bestowed upon those who make their community a better place. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Curtis and Annabelle started Lone Oak Restaurant with their partner Mary Edith Sivley. Together they restored the Lone Oak property, the oldest remaining house in Hopkinsville built in 1832 for Joseph B. Crockett, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Curtis was very involved in the Hopkinsville community. Among other groups he organized the Community Concert Association, was chairman of the Municipal Housing Commission, and was involved in the Pennyroyal Arts Commission. He served as Chairman of the Board of Elk Brand Manufacturing Company and was active in charitable fundraising in his clubs and the United Way. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church. One of his cherished activities was the Atheneum Society, a select literary society of only forty men, which he joined in 1957 and was active in through 2005, its longest serving member. As he said himself, Curtis enjoyed being a big fish in a small pond.
Curtis loved to travel. When the family would finally pile in the car to start a road trip, he would exclaim “and we’re off, like a herd of turtles,” and invent stories to tell all along the route. He visited all but two US states, and in later years he enjoyed travels to Europe. His favorite place was Vienna, where he and Annabelle attended 9 concerts in 4 days and he discovered his favorite dessert, Sacher torte.
A common description of Curtis was master storyteller. Even if you had heard the story before, you didn’t mind hearing a retelling because of his engaging and emotive narration. He was also a trivia whiz and had an impressive knowledge of history. Any time you needed to know a piece of information about anything, he could tell you right away; otherwise, he would spend time researching and find you an answer. He was an expert bridge player and was never reading fewer than three books at a time. His jovial whistling preceded him wherever he went. He was the one person everyone called when they needed encouragement, advice, or just a smile. He was a man brimming over with love, and was never afraid to show it and tell everyone around him.
Curtis is survived by his wife Annabelle West Brasher, his daughter Tracie Jensen Jacquemin, his son James Jensen, and his four grandchildren.