Bernard Trager
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.
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34 Entries
the world has lost a wonderful man ...a wonderful husband father grandfather ..shelly your father was always so kind and funny just like you his spirit continues in your soul and what a blessing he has given you ..his legacy will carry on through your brother you and so many others
candy coppaken
February 18, 2012
the world has lost a great man a great father grandfather and husband ..you have always been so kind to me and you have always been
a great philanthropic soul to louisville ..we will all miss you very much ...your daughters friends will support her and love her during this extremely difficult time
candy coppaken
February 18, 2012
My dad used to tell me your dad was the hardest working man he knew.
My mom always says, your dad never forgot where he came from.
I remember him as one of the fun fathers in Hayfield.
My condolences.
May his memory be a blessing
Eddie Kozlove
February 17, 2012
Thank you to a wonderful man that always treated me like part of the family growing up. Thanks you for all the sleepovers with Shelley, Kings Island trips, U of L games, and letting all of us girls just hang out. You and Jean are wonderful parents. It was always so much fun growing up in your house.
Alisa Kletter Pipkin
February 17, 2012
Mr trager was a wonderful example of what it means to be a great husband father ,friend ,and successful businessman.He did everything with kindness and generosity. He will be sorely missed. God bless Bernard trager.
Raquel and Ron Koff
February 17, 2012
all our love and sympathy go to all of your dear family..bernard was the GREATEST!!!
margie and allan baker
February 16, 2012
Mr.Trager always made you feel like you were the most important person in the room when you were talking to him.He was a very special gentleman. Deepest sympathy to all the family.
February 16, 2012
Steve and family -
My sincere sympathy.
Lynn Stevens
February 16, 2012
I was honored to work on the Trager Pavillion at Jewish hospital from 1999 when it opened until 2005 when I transferred to another area. Mr Trager was a patient of mine on several occasions, as were other family members. I recall being honored to care for such a genuinely kind & compassionate man. His eyes sparkled, and he always called me by name. My daddy passed away last month, so I know how sad your hearts are at this time. I just wanted you to know how privileged I felt to make his acquaintance & be a part of his care. Peace to you all...
Katherine Steere RN
February 16, 2012
Dear Jean and Family,
I have just heard of Bernard's passing and am saddened by the news. We are all diminished by the loss of such a fine man. Bernard tutored me during my ascendancy on the Board of Overseers and I always felt his support. Please accept my deepest sympathy.
Blanche Kitchen
February 15, 2012
Shelley,you and I go back 45 years,I remember when we first met and I met your Dad.He wanted to meet my Dad.They became friends.I am so sorry for your loss of your wonderful Father.Time will heal,I still miss my Dad so muchYou take care of your Mom and Steve.Everyone loved your Dad.He was very special to us all.Hang in there.I will get the picture to you .I am glad I have it.Love Debbie Whittenberg
February 14, 2012
You have our deepest and sincerest condolences.
Randy Farb
February 14, 2012
To Steve and the entire Trager Family,
Please accept our sympathy on your loss. He was a great man and left a legacy of having made our community a better place.
Ken Meredith
February 14, 2012
To The Trager Family,
I am very sorry for your loss, it is everyone's loss that knew him. He always had a smile when I saw him. I feel very priviliged to have known him and work for such an wonderful company--Republic Bank. Take condolence in knowing he truly made a difference in this world. My prayers and thoughts are with all of you.
Lynn Jones
February 13, 2012
Mr Trager was a wonderful man who achieved much but never forgot where he came from. His generosity speaks volumes of his humanity.
My sympathies to the family You have lost a great father and a great husband
Kevin George
February 13, 2012
My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please accept my sympathy.
Carol Westerman
February 13, 2012
To The Trager Family,
Please accept my most sincere condolences on your loss. My thoughts are with you.
Elaine Koby Moss
February 13, 2012
Our deepest sympathy to the Trager family in your time of need from the Dillon family. God Bless you all.
David P. Dillon
February 13, 2012
Our deepest sympathy for the Trager family. Angela(JRA Architects)
Angela Connell
February 13, 2012
Jean, Shelley and Steve,

We feel very privileged to have known Mr. Trager and our thoughts and prayers go out to you all through this very difficult time. What amazing memories you have of a man who touched so many lives and helped so many organizations. He will truly be missed.

Maureen and Pat Lippy, Louisville, KY
February 13, 2012
Amy Trager, I have not known you for long but I admire you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Mr. Trager but I have learned a lot about him the last few days. Wow! What a man he was. What a full life he lived. He touched many lives as you are doing now, so please get your rest so that you may carry on your good works. This community thanks you Trager family. God bless you all.
Todd Whitehouse
February 13, 2012
Right now your sadness is felt by so many people. Memories will flood your mind when you need them the most. God Bless you all. I am priviledged to work at such an awesome company-- Republic Bank. Know that there are many, many thoughts and prayers being said for the Trager family today and the days ahead.
Mary Wallace
February 12, 2012
To the Trager Family,

Your husband, your dad, was a big part of our family. You may not have known that. Our dad spoke often of “Mr. Trager” and had enormous respect and affection for him. He gave our dad, as he did so many others, an opportunity to succeed in his career. We owe a debt of gratitude to him and wanted you to know that we all are grateful to have had the chance to know him in some small way.

What a full life and successful career he had. You all must be tremendously proud of him. He truly made a difference during his stay on this earth…..for the many people he touched in some way and the things he impacted.

These times are difficult that you are going through, however the pain will pass in time and you will look back with fondness, happiness and satisfaction for what he was, what he meant to so many and what he meant to each of you.

The John Shaughnessy Family
john shaughnessy
February 12, 2012
To the Trager family,
Joe and I want to express our sincere sympathy to all of you on the loss of Bernard.He was such a kind person and will be missed not only by your family,but the Louisville community. As you remember his love,as you mourn his loss,may you also celebrate his life.Please know that we are thinking of you.

Ruth and Joe Davis....Lou Ky./Naples Fla.
February 12, 2012
To Shelley and Steve: I am so sorry for your loss. You and your families have my sympathies and condolences. He will be greatly missed by our community, but we have been made stronger by his involvement. His strength and love and memory will live through you.
Debbie Madison
February 12, 2012
Jean, I was saddened to learn of Bernard's death--he was such a good friend, was kind and always pleasant. You and your family are certainly in my thoughts and prayers.
Royce Cook
February 12, 2012
We regret that we are away but our prayers and best wishes are with the Trager family. We are grateful for our memories of Bernard as not only a generous supporter of Cardinal Athletics, but as one of our most enthusiastic fans. His personal legacy will benefit our community forever. Thank you, Bernard.
Bill and Sharon Olsen
February 12, 2012
To Steve and family,sorry to be out of town,but my thoughts and prayers are with the family.bernard was an old friend,thoughtful and generous to all and a great community leader.we will miss him.dan ulmer
February 12, 2012
Wonderful memories of his continuing community kindesses and he was so proud of his family!A real loss for everyone.
Debra Hibberd
February 12, 2012
Dear Trager Family: The community has lost a good man and you have lost a loved one. We are all enriched for his passing our way. We pray for you, the kindness of time taking the hurt away. Thank you Mr. Bernard Trager for letting us be remembered by you all these years with benefit to all. We celebrate your lifetime and forget you not. All our Prayers, The Alan Stoler Family... Diana, Max,Stacey & Scott (Hawes),Benjamin &Georgia Leigh
Mrs.Alan Stoler
February 12, 2012
My heart goes out to the Trager family
Bernard was a true gentleman and an
incredible business man.
He will be greatly missed.
J.B. Lesher
J.B. Lesher
February 12, 2012
To the Trager family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We must celebrate Bernard Trager's life, a generous person with his time and wealth for the benefit of the community. His legacy will stay with us forever. Luis and Aurora Scheker
LUIS SCHEKER
February 12, 2012
To the Trager Family, Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It has been an honor and previlege for us to get to know Bernard. While he was an outstanding leader in our community he was at the same time a true gentleman, generous and kind.
Our deepest sympathy, Ron and Pam Barnes.
February 12, 2012
To the Trager Family ,
Thinking of you at this time and your loss. I hope your memories will give you light in the days ahead. What a great legacy he has left for you and our community . With sympathy, Tom Jones / Swank Salon
Tom Jones / Swank Salon
February 12, 2012
Showing 1 - 34 of 34 results