Lexington businessman and attorney Robert "Bob" Brewer, 86, who was involved in a host of civic and community organizations, died Monday.
Mr. Brewer operated a grain mill that specialized in horse feeds, ran several Central Kentucky cattle and tobacco farms, and managed rental property. He served on the boards of groups including the Salvation Army, the International Museum of the Horse, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill and the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky. Mr. Brewer also had chaired the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce.
He spent time as treasurer of Good Samaritan Hospital and secretary of the board of the Lexington Cemetery.
He was an endowment trustee of the former Woodford Memorial Hospital, a member of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission, president of the Lexington Rotary Club and co-chairman of the Bluegrass chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
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"It was amazing the depth and breadth of his interests and activities," said Jim Thomas, retired president and CEO of Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. "He was a community-inspired citizen for sure."
Mr. Brewer's mother, Juliet Goddard Brewer, was a preservationist who championed the restoration of Shaker Village, and he followed in her footsteps, serving on the board at Shaker Village for more than 40 years, Thomas said.
Thomas said Mr. Brewer was an "invaluable" resource to the property because of his knowledge of farming, including the practices used by Shakers.
Mr. Brewer was a vice president of the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association and a past president of the National Hay Association, and he was honored by Progressive Farmer as the 1985 Man of the Year in Service to Kentucky Agriculture for helping establish board sales for feeder cattle.
"He loved Mercer County and Kentucky history and farming," Thomas said.
He said Mr. Brewer had an outgoing, friendly personality.
"He was a man of great energy and enthusiasm," Thomas said. "If you ever knew Bob Brewer, you would never forget him."
Former Vice Mayor Isabel Yates said Mr. Brewer brought that same enthusiasm to the task of helping to raise $500,000 for the Lexington History Museum, formerly in the old courthouse building downtown.
"He was just a wonderful salesman," she said. "You couldn't help liking Bob Brewer."
He also was active in education, having spent 10 years as chairman of the board of The Lexington School. He had been a trustee at Centre College and Lees College, and he was president of the Central Kentucky Princeton Alumni Association.
Mr. Brewer was married for 52 years to Katherine Alexander Brewer.
A native of Lexington, he was a graduate of University High School, Princeton University and the University of Kentucky College of Law.
He was a Navy veteran who served 14 months of combat duty during the Korean War and spent 26 years in the Naval Reserve. He twice received national leadership awards from the secretary of the Navy.
Mr. Brewer was a private pilot and an avid steeplechase rider, and a longtime member of the Iroquois Hunt Club, where he was joint master of foxhounds, vice president and board member.
He was active at First Presbyterian Church in Lexington and was elder and clerk of the session of New Providence Presbyterian Church in McAfee, a church his family helped found in 1784.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Jean Brewer of Lexington and Juliet Brewer of Los Angeles, and son Robert Brewer of Lexington; and three grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements, which are incomplete, are being handled by Milward Funeral Directors on North Broadway.