While Johnson Countians are mourning the loss of former Johnson Judge-Executive “Tucker” Daniel, who passed away at the age of 80 after health complications on Saturday, Nov. 2, current and former officials, and others, are honoring his memory.
A press release from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office commented on Daniel’s passing.
“Elaine and I join those remembering the life and accomplishments of former Johnson County Judge-Executive Tucker Daniel,” said McConnell in the statement. “In his decades of elected office, Tucker helped transform the local government, improve its services, and give area families and businesses every chance to thrive. His honesty and humility, matched with a strong record of success, earned Tucker the trust of those he served.
“We are grateful for Tucker’s legacy of public service and its lasting benefits throughout Eastern Kentucky. Our prayers and condolences are with all of Tucker’s family and friends during this difficult time,” the statement concluded.
Retired Kentucky District Court Judge Susan Johnson shared a similar sentiment from her home in Florida.
“I have known Tucker for as long as I can remember, but I really got to know him when his sons and my brothers played sports together in the ‘70s and ‘80s,” said Johnson. “Tucker Daniel was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend to so many, including myself. As an athlete himself, he was always interested in and supportive of sports programs of all levels and types in this community.
“We worked together professionally for many years when I was district judge and he was county judge-executive. He was always working for the betterment of Johnson County, but never at the expense of proper fiscal management,” she said. “In fact, I remember many different conversations we had, always about saving Johnson County money. One in particular I remember was that Tucker asked that I work with him to reduce the rising jail costs for Johnson County. He and I came up with a plan that saved the county thousands of dollars in jail costs.
She also pointed to Daniel’s work in establishing a local animal shelter.
“After working with rescue organizations for several years, Tucker found and acquired the appropriate building and property for the animal shelter facility Johnson County currently has, and during his time as judge-executive he continued to work with local rescue organizations to do what was necessary to see that the stray, abused and abandoned animals were treated humanely,” Johnson said.
Johnson said Daniel was direct and “brutally honest.”
“The thing I loved most about Tucker was his directness,” she said. “He could be brutally honest, a trait I greatly admire in a person. He and I had many heated discussions but my respect for him never wavered, and I hope he felt the same.”
Johnson County resident and Trail Town Catalyst Lara Pack also had kind words to share about the former judge-executive.
“I am so sad to hear of the passing of our former County Judge Tucker Daniel. He was a fine man and always so kind to me and so supportive,” she said. “My (husband) Paul served as County Attorney with Tucker and always remarked at his business sense and way with people. I always respected Tucker because he showed me the same. He will be missed and I am praying comfort for his family.”
“I respected Tucker and was always so grateful for his returned support. I was honored to call him friend as well as my county judge.”
Daniel will be laid to rest on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at Highland Memorial Park in Staffordsville.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked those willing to contribute to donate to the Johnson County Senior Citizens Program or the Paintsville Little League. Contributions can be made by contacting Phelps & Son Funeral Home at, (606) 789-8989.