Fayette County coroner asks for public’s help finding veteran’s family


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn is asking for the public’s help finding family members of a late Army Veteran.

Coroner Ginn says 64-year old Howard Duane Bjerke died of natural causes at UK Hospital in Lexington on September 18, 2020.

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Bjerke was born May 11, 1956, in Cooperstown, North Dakota.  He was the son of Selmer Howard Bjerke and Arlene Mae Foss Bjerke.

His legal next of kin is a daughter, Jenifer Allen who is believed to have lived in the Troy-Winfred-Warrenton towns in Missouri, according to the coroner.

Howard Bjerke’s last known address was on Loudon Avenue in Lexington, Kentucky.

He worked in maintenance at a baseball park, according to the coroner.

Anyone with information is asked to contact of the Fayette County Coroner’s Office at 859-455-5700.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.