Trailblazing former Ky. state rep. Kathy Hogancamp dead at 68
Former Kentucky State Representative Kathy Hogancamp, a trailblazing western Kentucky politician who represented far western Kentucky, died last week at the age of 68.
Hogancamp — elected in 1994 to represent Kentucky’s then-4th District — was the first ever Republican elected to represent the Jackson Purchase District in Frankfort.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Hogancamp moved to Paducah during her childhood. While attending Paducah Tilghman High School, she was involved in a car accident that left her paralyzed below the shoulders, but she didn’t let that slow her down. Hogancamp went on to graduate from Paducah Community College (now, West Kentucky Community and Technical College) and Murray State University with honors, earning degrees in English and in History before attending Southern Illinois University and achieving her Master’s degree in educational psychology and counseling.
Hogancamp’s career in education led her to work as a program specialist for the Department of Education in Washington D.C. before moving back to western Kentucky.
At the time of her election, Hogancamp was heralded as the first Kentucky representative to be a wheelchair user, though she said she was "not going to play the role of crusader" for people with disabilities.
Former Democratic Kentucky State Representative Gerald Watkins grew up with Hogancamp in Paducah. Watkins says she was resilient and never let her disability stop her.
“She was the type of leader and lady you have to admire, respect and know that she had your best interest at heart – for the people of west Kentucky and the entire Commonwealth,” Watkins said.
A memorial service will be held for Hogancamp on Wednesday October 26 at the Milner & Orr Funeral Home in Paducah.