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Yale 62

Kenneth J. Tuggle

Ken TuggleIt is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Kenneth Jesse Tuggle on December 23, 2022, surrounded by his loving family. He was 83 years old.

Born in Barbourville, Kentucky, April 22, 1939, Ken was the son of a school teacher and a lawyer. He grew up in this small Eastern KY town before moving to the Washington DC area, where his father pursued a career in public service. Ken attended Landon School for Boys.

Ken earned a political science degree from Yale, where he was a member of Jonathan Edwards, where he served on the Council. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, where he served as treasurer. He roomed with Jim Hiney. He went on to receive his law degree from The George Washington University Law School, working his way through school by coding computer programs for the federal government that tracked objects in Earth’s orbit.

After law school, Ken served as a clerk for Judge Henry Brooks in the US Court of Appeals in Louisville, then as an Assistant United States Attorney, before becoming a partner at the law firm of Brown, Todd, and Heyburn (now Frost, Brown, and Todd).
Throughout his legal career, Ken was a highly successful attorney and litigator, recognized by Best Lawyers for many years, and valued the relationships he built with all those he encountered in his work. He was also a dedicated supporter of Frontier Nursing Service, a midwifery school and healthcare provider for rural residents in Eastern Kentucky. In the mid-1980s, Ken co-founded and served as President of the Pacific Century Institute, a non-profit dedicated to improving international relations through education, policy, and research.

In 2015, Ken and his wife, Catherine, moved to Winona, Minnesota, to be closer to their family.

Ken enjoyed hiking and camping with his family and frequently hiked with his men’s group. Ken was an intelligent and well-rounded individual with a diverse range of interests, from science and cosmology to international politics and mystic poetry. This allowed him to converse on any topic. For all of his intellect, Ken was a humble man, as likely to tell a lawyer joke as to expound on programming in assembly language. He had a great sense of humor. Those who knew him remember his kindness, compassion, and caring spirit.

Ken is survived by his wife Catherine, whom he was married to for 48 years, his daughter Maggie Stone of Los Angeles, his sister Sally Johnson of Fordingbridge, England, and his stepsons Jack Hedin (and spouse Jenni McHugh) and Ed Hedin (and spouse Sarah Culver) of Winona, MN, as well as his grandchildren Emmet, Oscar, Jasper, Pearl, and Gus.

A memorial in honor of Ken’s life and legacy is being planned for Spring 2023. Ken will be remembered as an intelligent, kind, and humble man who made a lasting impact on those around him and will be deeply missed.


— Douglas T. (Tim) Hall