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Kentuckians come to Frankfort to honor former Kentucky Governor John Y Brown

Stu Johnson

Kentuckians have been given an opportunity to pay their respects to former Governor John Y Brown Junior. The Commonwealth’s 55th governor lie-in-state at the state capitol Tuesday.

Grady Stumbo served as secretary of, what was then called, Cabinet for Human Resources during the Brown administration. He said, after leaving office, Brown still had quote, “Kentucky in his heart and he wanted Kentucky to excel and do well.”

“He helped people to try to aspire to making Kentucky a better place and a better state and he embodied that himself and he encouraged Kentuckians to think that way,” said Stumbo.

Stumbo said he and Brown became personal friends and were raising children about the same age at the same time. The 77-year-old eastern Kentucky doctor said he spoke with Brown within the last few weeks. Stumbo noted Brown indicated he wished he had enough energy to run for governor again.

The governor died a week ago at the age of 88. One of those paying respects in the Capitol Rotunda was Cary Whayne. Whayne said she was a good friend of Sandy Brown, one of the governor’s daughters.

“And I remember going to the Colonels games and playing in the pool and sliding down the banister when John Y and Ellie Brown weren’t there. I have a lot of fond memories growing up in that white house on Orion Road,” said Whayne.

Stu Johnson

Whayne said she now lives in a home in Prospect Kentucky, that was once owned by Brown’s first wife Ellie Durall Moore. Also visiting the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday was James Goff who said Brown was a successful businessman and added that’s a benefit in filling an executive job of governor. A private memorial service is planned Wednesday.

Here's more with Grady Stumbo:


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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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