Community mourns a friend in Tichenor

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By Mallory Bilger

When close friends shared their memories of Steve Tichenor, they all agreed that he loved Spencer County and wanted to make it a better place.

Tichenor, a well-known local businessman, farmer, public servant and developer, died at the age of 61 Friday after battling cancer.

He was known throughout the community for his involvement in government, civic and business ventures, including his service as chair of the Taylorsville-Spencer County Joint Planning and Zoning Commission. He was also praised for donating the land that is now the county-operated Waterford Park on Highway 44.

Close friend and business partner Patty Loeser told The Spencer Magnet Monday that Tichenor had suffered with brain and lung cancer almost two years and that chemotherapy and radiation treatments had not produced the needed results.

“His favorite quote was one that he always told me: To whom much is given, much is expected. He always tried to live by those rules,” said Loeser, who worked with Tichenor for 17 years in local joint business ventures including Realty Associates and Boat Works.

Spencer County Judge Executive David Jenkins, along with Fiscal Court, issued a resolution Monday honoring Tichenor’s work throughout the community. Jenkins said Tichenor had a wealth of legal and practical knowledge that he freely shared with local agencies.

“Steve has contributed financially with the community and also with his time. He has done more than his fair share of that. But Steve also had a great mind. He was a great leader and great at pulling people together to work on a common goal. That’s the reason why he could get things accomplished,” Jenkins said.

According to the resolution, Tichenor operated a family owned farm and served in multiple areas, including on the county’s soil conservation board and on the Board of Directors at both the Peoples Bank of Taylorsville and the Peoples Bank of Mount Washington. He previously served on the Taylorsville-Spencer County Economic Development Authority, contributed to numerous charitable organizations and causes, was a member at First Baptist Church of Mount Washington and served on the Regional Planning Council.

Peoples Bank of Taylorsville President and CEO Steve Bowman said that Tichenor’s death would create a void in the community.

“To me, he was really just an asset to the community. He has always been an advocate for the people. He had a lot of knowledge about development, working with people, working with communities and that’s something you just can’t replace,” Bowman said.

Loeser said many community members don’t realize that Tichenor contributed greatly to the Spencer County School system’s agriculture programs. She said Tichenor donated money to fund an agriculture teacher at the middle school and worked to educate youth about farming.

Taylorsville-Spencer County Joint Planning and Zoning Commission Administrator Julie Sweazy said she worked with Tichenor through the commission for about 13 years.

“He was just a very fair person. In my eyes, he was very fair. He was one that, even though he was a developer, he always wanted to do what was best for the county. This was his home and he was proud of it. He wanted to keep it nice,” Sweazy said.

Tichenor is survived by his wife, Linda, a son, Charles, and a daughter, Rebecca. His funeral was held Tuesday morning at Hall-Taylor Funeral Home.