The 90-year-old retired Kentucky judge who once employed Senator Mitch McConnell dies in a house fire after ‘heroically’ rescuing his wife

A respected retired Court of Appeals judge and former candidate for gubernatorial government in the Commonwealth of Kentucky tragically died earlier this week in a house fire after initially “heroically” escorting his wife to safety.

Tom Emberton, 90, woke up around 3:30 a.m Thursday and discovered his Metcalfe County home was on fire. Emberton quickly jumped up and helped his wife to safety outdoors. However, in an attempt to save his home, he went back into the flames and tragically lost his life.

The fire is believed to have started accidentally.

Longtime colleague and fishing partner Doug Smith, the mayor of Edmonton, wrote a touching tribute to his late friend.

“Today, Kentucky lost a great father, husband, friend and statesman in a tragic accidental house fire,” Smith said expression reads partially. “Tom heroically made sure his wife Julia fled to safety but lost his life trying to save their home.”

“He was a friend to many and always a champion of South Central Ky,” the statement adds. “His wisdom, kindness, and ever-wise advice were an encouragement to all.”

Emberton has been involved in public life for over 30 years. He ran for governor as a Republican in 1971 and hired a young upstart named Mitch McConnell, who is currently the Republican leader in the US Senate, to serve in his campaign. McConnell also released a statement regarding Emberton’s death.

“Elaine and I are heartbroken to learn of the tragic death of our good friend Judge Tom Emberton,” McConnell said. “Tom gave me one of my earliest experiences of the harsh and tumultuous reality of political campaigning when he hired me to work on his 1971 gubernatorial campaign. He taught me valuable lessons about public service and being a statewide Republican in Kentucky. Tom championed conservative values ​​in our state and played a key role in organizing the Kentucky Republicans at every level, paving the way for me and so many other conservatives to follow in his footsteps.”

Below is an old political ad from Emberton’s 1971 campaign:

Emberton eventually lost the race to Wendell Ford.

In 1987, Governor Wallace Wilkinson, a Democrat, appointed Emberton a member of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Emberton was then twice re-elected to the position and also served as Chief Justice. In 2004 he retired.

Tom and Julia Emberton had been married for 65 years at the time of his death. They had two children, five grandchildren and at least one great-grandchild. The 90-year-old retired Kentucky judge who once employed Senator Mitch McConnell dies in a house fire after ‘heroically’ rescuing his wife

Laura Coffey

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