The word most often heard from those who knew Bob Zweigart is “gentleman.”
He was also a “giant,” in the community, according to Dennis Redmond who worked with Zweigart when Redmond was Maysville city manager and Zweigart was city attorney.
“It is so sad to see him pass,” Redmond said.
“If it hadn’t been for Bob Zweigart, there would be no YMCA in Maysville,” Redmond said. “If it wasn’t for Bob Zweigart, there wouldn’t be a lot of things in Maysville.”
Zweigart died Friday in Maysville after an illness of several years. He was 83.
He was a graduate of Maysville High School and Eastern Kentucky University. According to his family, he took pride in being a “bench guard” for famed Coach Earle Jones’ MHS Bulldogs and was the first ever member enlisted for EKU’s first golf team.
After serving in the military, Zweigart enrolled in the University of Kentucky College of Law. He then returned to Maysville to practice law for 53 years where he became a partner with family attorneys in the firm Royse, Zweigart, Kirk, Brammer and Caudill.
He served as Maysville city attorney for 30 years. Redmond called him “the finest city attorney in the state of Kentucky.”
“He loved his job, his family and his community,” Redmond said.
Son Steve Zweigart recalled an article he once read at his grandmother’s home that may best define his father.
“When I was young, I used to frequent the house of my grandmother, Alice “Mom” Royse, my father’s mother, where I would always find The Ledger Independent opened up to the page with the “Ann Landers” column,” Steve Zweigart said. “One such article, which I’ve never forgotten, requested a definition of success. The response was a reference to a definition written in 1904 by Bessie Anderson Stanley. I have thought of it often during the past couple of weeks:
He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of the Earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had; whose life was and inspiration; whose memory a benediction.
“It strikes me that on all accounts, my father’s life was one of exemplary success. His efforts and service to this community have touched the lives of so many people, most probably not even realizing the impact that his works have had on them. I could never expect to do as much as he has done, but hope that in my own way, I may be able to continue his legacy to the best of my ability.”
Maysville Mayor David Cartmell also worked alongside Zweigart on city business and called him “the consummate gentleman,” and a “visionary” who had his hand on many of the major projects undertaken by the city during the last 40 years.
“If it was good for the city, he was involved in it,” Cartmell said. “His counsel will be especially missed.”
Zweigart served on the boards of many nonprofit organizations and associations including Maysville Rotary Club, Hayswood Hospital Foundation, Licking Valley College Development Corporation, Maysville-Mason County Public Library, the Humane Society of Mason County, as an original director of Meadowview Regional Medical Center and as city commissioner and member of the Mason County Joint Planning Commission. He was the founding president of the Limestone Family YMCA and a life-long Presbyterian where he served as deacon and elder.
Speaking on behalf of himself and partner Sue Bramer, attorney W. Kelly Caudill said “Sue and I are greatly saddened by the passing our former law partner. Bob was a great mentor and had a passion for the practice of law and service to his clients and community.”
Caudill went on to say “His wisdom, ethics, and knowledge of the law were such enormous resources to us and the members of our bar association. He will be greatly missed.”
Zweigart leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline Zweigart, and two children, Steven Zweigart and Suzanne Zweigart.
Services are Saturday at First Presbyterian Church in Maysville.