Four days after suffering a massive heart attack, Mason County Coroner and businessman Robert "Bob" Brothers has died.
Brothers, 73, had been at St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington since Sunday and had been in stable, but critical condition throughout the week.
On Monday, David Lawrence, manager of Knox and Brothers, said Brothers wasn't feeling well Saturday when he came into work for a short while.
On Sunday, Brothers was still not feeling well and took himself to Meadowview Regional Medical Center to be checked out around 3:30 p.m. Lawrence said it was while there that Brothers suffered a heart attack. He was eventually air lifted to St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington after doctors were able to stabilize him.
Mason County Judge-Executive James L. "Buddy" Gallenstein was out of town at a state meeting when he learned of Brothers' death. Gallenstein said his friendship with Brothers goes back to high school, when he attended St. Patrick and Brothers attended Maysville. Gallenstein said Brothers was not only part of the community as a funeral director, but also for his involvement in the local and state political scene which began right out of high school. Gallenstein cited Brothers' involvement with former Gov. Julian Carroll's campaign and time in office.
"He was a good friend, a good coroner. He will be missed by many including the coroner's association and on the political scene. He'll be missed," Gallenstein said.
Brothers was a 1958 graduate of Maysville High School, attended Eastern Kentucky University, served in the military and graduated from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science.
Just last month he received his 50-year pin as funeral director and embalmer at the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky’s Convention held in Louisville.
Brothers completed an internship at Fort Knox in 1963, then joined J.W. Porter and Son Funeral Home, which was owned by Ashby Porter of Maysville. When Porter sold the business in 1975, Brothers opened his own business, Brothers Funeral Home. In 1980, he merged his funeral home with Albert and Billy Knox, forming the Knox and Brothers Funeral Home.
In 1997, after realizing his children and step-children weren't interested in coming into the business, Brothers made the decision to become part of SCI/Dignity Memorial. At that time, Brothers became manager, his wife, Vicki served as office manager and David Lawrence was funeral director and embalmer.
Lawrence said Thursday Brothers moved out of the manager role in 2011 and has been listed as former owner and consultant with SCI as he moved into retirement.
Brothers served as Mason County coroner for a brief time in the 1960s. He ran for office in 1998 and has held the position since. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and two step-sons.
Gallenstein said the responsibility falls to him to appoint someone to fill Brothers' unexpired term as coroner, but that decision will be made at a later date. In the meantime, he said the county is served by two very capable deputy coroners, Lawrence and Palmer Funeral Home owner Robert Palmer.
Funeral arrangements are pending.