Home Business Lexington’s Hope Center founder, Cecil Dunn, has died

Lexington’s Hope Center founder, Cecil Dunn, has died

IN MEMORY: Cecil Dunn

As shared by their family, Cecil and Judy Dunn were married on July 10th, 1965, and raised their sons together in Lexington, where the front door to their home on Kingsway Drive was always open, the house was often full of friends and family, and Cecil could be found holding court in his den. 

The founder of Lexington’s Hope Center and subsequent director for 24 years, died March 23, 2024.

Dunn enjoyed a distinguished six decades of legal experience. He served as the General Counsel of the Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC), as a Criminal Trial Commissioner and Assistant County Attorney for Fayette County, and was appointed as the Special Prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, for the Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire investigation in 1978 and 1979. He was a proud member of the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA). He received the Henry Duncan Award, Fayette County Bar Association, 1997, The Lexington Optimist Community Service Award, 1997, Kentucky Housing Corporation Excellence in Housing Award, 1996 and had an AV Pre-Eminent Rating by Martindale- Hubbell.

He had a passion for his community, church, UK Basketball and family. He served as a Board Member and Chairman of the Lexington Civic Center (Rupp Arena). He was the Executive Director of the Hope Center for twenty-four years, before retiring in 2019. He said of the Hope Center: “It was the best thing that I have ever been associated with. “Second chances are born and nurtured here.” Both Cecil and his dear friend, the late Don Ball, dedicated the second halves of their careers to the mission and vision of the Hope Center, bettering thousands of lives in the process. He was a life-long Presbyterian and devout member of First Presbyterian Church in Lexington. 

Pallbearers at his service included Senator Mike Moloney, Luther Deaton, Jim Exline, Walter May, Ray Edelman, and Leonard Hamilton. Honorary Pallbearers were George Begley, Joe Terry, Jim Hatfield, Harold Mullis, the late Don Ball, the late Joe Smith and the late Tommy Chandler.

This article appears on page 7 of the April 2024 print edition of Ace. To subscribe to digital delivery of Ace Magazine each month, click here.

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