Jerry Monahan, 82, dies

Columbus, OH — Jerry Michael Monahan, 82, of Lexington and Harrodsburg, Ky., died peacefully at home surrounded by family members on May 31, 2022.

He was born on Oct, 25, 1939, in Buffalo, N.Y., to the late Jerry Monahan and Ruth Monahan Kennedy.

He is survived by his best friend and loving partner of 31 years, Kay Sargent; her daughter, Rebecca Bertram and granddaughter, Katherine Bertram; son, Jerry Jr.; daughters, Kathleen (Richard) Monti and Sarah (Bill) Joor; grandchildren, Lexi Monti, Rich Monti, Jack, Megan, N.W. Joor and Sam Joor; and brother, Doug (Beulah) Kennedy.

Mr. Monahan received his early education in Canada and graduated from Buffalo High School. While attending the University of Buffalo, he enlisted into the United States Air Force and served 4-1/2 years during the Vietnam War in the 15th Air Force Strategic Air Command. He flew missions to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Okinowa, Guam, North Vietnam, England, Finland and Russia. He was based in South Dakota where he completed his education before starting his life-long career in horse racetrack management.

He worked at 18 different racetracks and after being Vice-President and General Manager of Buffalo Raceway in Buffalo, N.Y., he came to Lexington as the Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Lexington Trots Breeders Association (The Red Mile/Tattersalls).

As an innovator, he was at the forefront of enhancing the industry at every step of his career creating record-setting results in sales, purses and handles. He established a first-ever horse auction by way of satellite over the North American continent, allowing buyers to bid on horses from coast to coast. He ended his career in 2009 as the Senior Vice-President of Colonial Downs in New Kent, Va., before retiring back to Lexington.

Mr. Monahan was an avid UK sports fan; he loved playing golf and attending horse races. As one of Lexington Sister Cities’ biggest supporters, he was a world traveler and visited several continents and many countries. He could carry on a long conversation with people of all walks of life; he was known for his stories and sense of humor. He leaves behind many friends who shared fun times with him and will miss his positive spirit and quick smile.

Memorial contributions may be made to either Lexington Sister Cities at or Northeast Passage at

Milward Funeral Directors are entrusted with Mr. Monahan’s service arrangements. Mass will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday (June 7) at Cathedral of Christ the King located at 299 Colony Blvd. with a reception to follow.

To share a remembrance of Jerry or to offer condolences to his family, please sign the online guestbook at

Back to Top

Share via