Nicholas Zacharias Kafoglis passed away peacefully in Branford, Connecticut on February 9, 2019. He is predeceased by his beloved wife of 62 years, Patricia Kafoglis, his parents, Kalliope and Zacharias Kafoglis, his step-father, Charles Danos and his brother, Milton Z. Kafoglis. Nick was a native of Lexington, Kentucky, a first generation American and the son of proud Greek immigrants. He graduated from Henry Clay High School, did a postgraduate year at Phillips Andover Academy, and earned his BS from Yale University in 1952. While attending medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in 1953, Nick met Patricia Martin, who was a senior at Beaver College, now Arcadia University. They married and had four children together, with stops at Ohio State and Abilene, Texas, where Nick was a Captain in the US Air Force Medical Corps, before returning to his beloved Kentucky. Nick and Pat settled in Bowling Green, where Nick set up his medical practice, which thrived. In his almost fifty years of practicing medicine, Dr. K was always known as a caring and compassionate doctor who provided care to any who needed it, regardless of their ability to pay. His medical practice was his primary call to service and he felt strongly about providing medical care to all. After he retired from his practice in Bowling Green, he continued to provide medical care as a volunteer to the underserved in Kentucky, in several Caribbean countries, and in Kenya where he served as part of a medical mission team for 5 months in 2003. In 1971, convinced he could make a broader impact on the lives of the members of his community, he ran for and was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. He fought for working people by sponsoring legislation to repeal the tax on groceries and worked to make the legislature accountable to the citizens of Kentucky. After two terms he stepped down to return to medicine full time. In 1986, he ran for and won the 32nd district seat of the Kentucky State Senate, representing Warren and Logan counties. Senator Kafoglis worked to improve the lives of all Kentuckians by working for broad reforms in education and healthcare. He was proud to collaborate with other legislators from the region and the leadership of Western Kentucky University to strengthen and grow WKU. He was also pleased to work with local and state officials to bring the four lane highway between Bowling Green and Russellville to fruition. Nick was honored in many ways for his service. In 1974, he was voted Outstanding Representative in the Public Interest by the Capitol Press Corp. He was recognized with the William H. Natcher distinguished government service award in 1995, and in 1998 he was ranked the most effective member of the Kentucky Senate. That year he was also named Citizen of the Year by the Logan Leader News Democrat, the only non-Logan county resident to ever receive the recognition. Dr. K was a lifetime member of the WKU alumni association and in recognition of his contributions to WKU and to education for all in the Commonwealth he was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters in 1999. The Bowling Green-Warren County NAACP honored Nick and Pat as the initial recipients of the Nick and Pat Kafoglis Diamond Award. In 2013, the Warren County Democratic Party honored Pat and Nick for their many years of public service to the local community and the state of Kentucky at the annual William H Natcher dinner. Gov. Steve Beshear said of Pat and Nick that 'they truly are two of the greatest citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that you will ever see.' Nick was a devoted member of the First Christian Church (DOC) where he served as an Elder and as Chair of the Board. The First Christian community was extended family for Nick and Pat. Nick loved athletics. He was an ardent WKU and UK fan. He was also proud to be an All-State member of the 1946 undefeated Henry Clay football team and to play varsity football at Yale. He enjoyed tennis and running well into his 80's. He is survived by four children, Ginny Wagner (Chuck), Ellen Kirtley (Ed), Zach Kafoglis (Karen) and Chris Kafoglis (Nancy); and eight grandchildren, Greg Wagner (Jenessa), Lisa Wagner, Eddie Kirtley, Nicholas Kafoglis, Christian Kafoglis, Susannah Kafoglis, Zachary Kafoglis, and Ben Kafoglis. A public memorial service will be held on March 16, 2019 at the First Christian Church, 1106 State St., Bowling Green, KY at 2:00 pm Central Time. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Patricia and Nicholas Z. Kafoglis Endowed Scholarship Fund held by the College Heights Foundation at Western Kentucky University.

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  1. -Lasting Impressions- A couple of years ago I crossed paths with a young man (I’ll refer to him as John) in his mid-late thirties and after some small talk the conversation led to tennis. He shared with me a humorous yet true story of a time early in his tennis career. He was young & athletic and had been playing tennis for about a year when he decided to enter his first tennis tournament. He showed up for his first match to find out he was playing a much older… we’ll say -seasoned- player. This player was none other than Nick Kafoglis. Now John’s first memory of Nick was his cordial smile and friendly demeemer. His second recollection was his age & physical apprearance. For those of us who knew Nick, he stood, walked & ran with a slightly bent over posture. Based on his first impressions, John was liking his chances of advancing to the next round. He just needed to take it easy on Nick…out of respect for his elder, of course. With John’s -guard let down- the first set didn’t last long, 6-0…you guessed it, Nick. As you can imagine, that first set humbled John but his competitive juices were flowing now and he was determined to win the 2nd set. John was sure he could wear Nick down & win the 3rd & final set too. The 2nd set was closer…6-4. But you probably guessed it, there would be no 3rd set. John learned a valuable lesson that day relating to extreme overconfidence but more importantly he met an honorable man named Nick who left a lasting impression of intregity and grit, I might add, and forever earned his respect that day on the tennis court. Sam Kirtley, III

  2. This is a great memory! I’m sure there were many that underestimated by dad’s tennis skills based on initial impressions. Thanks for sharing

  3. Dr. Kafoglis delivered my first child. He was so kind and compassionate, and I was heartbroken when he told me he would not be able to deliver my second child due to other commitments. Over the years, I have talked about him many times. I was always saying, -Do you know Dr. Kafoglis? He is the best doctor ever!- I will continue to remember the kind, gentle man name Dr. K! I am sorry for your loss..

  4. I worked with Dr. K for many years in the Greenview OR . I don’t believe there was another surgeon more gracious then he, always kind, always patient, always caring of staff and patients. He was a true gentleman and respected by all who worked with him. As nurses we are often asked -what doctor would you recommend?- My reply has always been .I can tell you who my doctor was…my doctor was Dr. K..

  5. My deepest sympathies to the family and friends. May God bless and comfort. It was my honor to serve along side a great and caring human being.

  6. Dr. Kafoglis was my Dr for many years. He was a kind & compassionate man. If I had a question about some health issue, he would say, .If you were my daughter, this is what I would recommend for your
    best care.. He was a very special person because he was not only a Dr. but a friend too.
    He made you fell as if you were the most important person & patient he had. It was so sad when
    he told me he was retiring. I sat & tears ran down my cheeks as he ask, who do you want for another
    Dr . I replied, someone like you;, but you can never be replaced.
    If only there were more like him.
    Sorry to hear of his passing. It is a great loss.
    Janette Woodcock

  7. Dr. Kafoglis served as a member of the Board of Directors at Christian Care Communities during my tenure as the Executive Assistant to the President. I, therefore, communicated with Dr. Kafoglis lots of times in the scheduling of board meetings as well as other Christian Care related meetings. He was always so kind and helpful, responding very promptly to requests made. He will long be remembered. May God give you comfort in your loss of one so special. Joyce Bryant

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  8. Sometimes there are no words that can really express the pain that we feel when someone so special as Dr. Kafoglis leaves us. We extend our deepest condolences to the Kafoglis family. May our Heavenly Father hear the prayers of your heart and grant you comfort and peace during this difficult time. 2 Corinthians 1:2-5. Our loving thoughts and prayers.

  9. A beautiful, brilliant , shinning new LIGHT has taken it’s rightful place upon the cosmic heavenly realm!
    It continues to radiate it.s love energy to the universe and cradles in comfort all who love it…….

    Angela R-Fernandez
    Nashville, Tennessee

  10. We want to express our sympathy to your family in the loss of a great man. Our paths crossed many times with your dad and mom over several years. I, Evelyn, was so pleased to have Dr. Kafoglis as a doctor and surgeon and was treated with such compassion and professionalism. Some of you are remembered by Gene when you were young and students at BGHS. We appreciated the honesty and dedication of both of your parents as they served politically to represent his district. We were also very honored to care for your mother at her death.

    It was a pleasure to have known your family and appreciate the accomplishments that you all have made. We often hear in the community how Dr. and Mrs. Kafoglis have touched their lives in such positive ways. You are blessed!
    Sincerely,
    Gene and Evelyn Vaughn
    Bowling Green, KY

  11. My dad loved the church and the Christian Care Communities. He enjoyed the work and service to others. Thank you for sharing the memory.

  12. We appreciate you sharing your memories of my dad and family. I know they would say there are so many people who touched their lives in Bowling Green. Thank you for the kind words and sympathies.

  13. What a beautiful thought! His smile was full of love and I like thinking that it continues to radiate. Thank you for sharing.

  14. I was one of Nick’s room-mates while we were at Penn Medical School;
    I am ashamed that I only now have learned of his death!
    Nick was truly beloved by all of us who were privileged to live and spend time with him.
    What a sweet, good man! We will never forget him.
    John Staige Davis, IV
    Charlottesville, VA

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