TRAGER, BERNARD, 83, died at his home on Friday, February 10, 2012 with his loving family by his side.
Bernard M. Trager was born in Louisville in 1928 and with the exception of an absence for military service (USAF/1950- 1952), has resided continuously in Louisville for his entire life. His employment in the field of banking and finance began in 1952. In 1958, he was a cofounder and chief executive officer of Union Trust, a Kentucky Industrial Loan Corporation. In 1977, Union Trust and its seven subsidiaries in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio became part of Commercial Credit of Baltimore, MD. Mr. Trager continued to serve as president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Union Trust. He was also an executive consultant for Commercial Credit Company, a subsidiary of Control Data.
Mr. Trager was chairman and founder of Republic Bancorp, Inc. which has become the largest Kentucky based financial institution with 43 banking centers in Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio.
Mr. Trager was an adopted alumnus of the University of Louisville as well as a member and former chairman of the University of Louisville Board of Overseers. He is a former director of the: Fund for the Arts, Cathedral Heritage Foundation, Greater Louisville Inc./The Metro Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, Louisville Community Foundation, Louisville/Jefferson County Redevelopment Authority and Health Enterprises Network.
Mr. Trager was named Professional Entrepreneur of the Year by Louisville's Entrepreneur Society, an honorary member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, a member of the Louisville Male High School Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Grover Sales Distinguished Alumni Award from Louisville Male High School, inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and received the 2011 Louisvillian of the Year Award from the Advertising Federation of Louisville.
Along with his wife Jean, he received the honor of the 1999 National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ) Weisberg Brotherhood Award, the Caritas Foundation Community Leaders of the Year in 2003 and the University of Louisville Hickman-Camp Award recognizing their support of the Athletic Department. They also received the 2006 Blanche B. Ottenheimer Award from the Jewish Community Center for their unselfish service to the community of Louisville.
Bernard Trager's greatest honor was his role as a champion husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and business associate. Despite his success in business and service to his community, his first priority was always to love and nurture his family. He leaves behind a legacy of determination, integrity, kindness and philanthropy.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Trager and Bess Trager Baum and Morton F. Baum; and his brother, Edward M. Trager.
He will be missed by his beloved wife and partner of 56 years, Jean S. Trager; their daughter, Shelley Trager Kusman and son, Steve Trager (Amy). Grandchildren will miss their "Pop Pop" too, Michael, Andrew and Brett Trager Kusman and Kevin and Emily Trager as well as his brother Alan Trager (Roz), of Philadelphia, PA.
The funeral will be celebrated at the Temple, 5101 US Highway 42 at 2 p.m. Sunday, February 12, 2012, with visitation beginning at 12:15 p.m. Herman Meyer & Son is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may go to the Jewish Community Center of Louisville, 3600 Dutchmans Lane, Louisville, KY, 40205 or the Boys & Girls Club of Louisville, 1201 Story Ave. #250, Louisville, KY 40206
Published by Courier-Journal on Feb. 12, 2012.