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Prominent Lexington historian, attorney Foster Ockerman Jr. dies

Foster Ockerman Jr.'s Facebook page

A name synonymous with Lexington history has died. We get word today from Milward Funeral Directors of the death of prominent Lexington historian Foster Ockerman Junior, who passed away Sunday at the age of 70.

Ockerman was a founding trustee of the Lexington History Museum, Inc. and known for his works on state and local history.

He most recently penned A New History of Lexington, Kentucky.

Statement from Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton:

“Foster was a vocal advocate for the preservation of local history. In 2025 we will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Lexington. Because of Foster we will celebrate that milestone with a deeper understanding of the history that makes Lexington the wonderful community it is today. Foster was a special friend and neighbor. My heart goes out to Martina and their girls.”

Statement from Lexington History Museum Board Chair Jim Dickinson:

"Words cannot begin to describe my sorrow over losing such a good friend and colleague. Foster was truly one of a kind. He was a capable attorney, an accomplished writer and a spellbinding raconteur. I have had the pleasure of knowing Foster since 1974, and he was directly responsible for my becoming a part of the LexHistory Board. Over the decades, Foster was devoted to the task of making sure the history of Lexington was properly preserved and told. I remember with fondness how much joy he took in gathering unique artifacts--some of which dated back to the founding of Lexington. Although I still cannot believe he is no longer with us, I take comfort in the fact that LexHistory found a new home and permanent exhibit space when we entered into a lease with the Blue Grass Trust. Foster took great pride in LexHistory’s growth in 2022, including our ability to hire professional staff. I will miss him.”

Visitation for Ockerman will be December 15th from noon to 3 p.m. at First United Methodist Church.

He’ll be buried at the Lexington Cemetery in a private ceremony.

His family is asking that donations be sent to First United Methodist Church or the Lexington History Museum.