Gary W. Auxier passed away Saturday, July 27, 2019, in the Borden Center at Kendal in Lexington.

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GARY AUXIER
Gary W. Auxier passed away Saturday, July 27, 2019, in the Borden Center at Kendal in Lexington.
Gary was born Aug. 2, 1944, in Ashland, Ky., to Lucv Willett Auxier and Chester Arthur Auxier.  Gary and his wife Jenny Pulliam moved to Lexington from Falls Church in 2009.
During his career, Auxier had served two U.S. senators and one governor in senior staff positions and was an executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Washington office of Burson-Marsteller when it was one of the largest international public relations agencies in the world.
Auxier graduated from Ashland High School and went to Morehead State University.  After college he worked for a time for Armco Steel and as an assistant chemist for Allied Chemical, before he switched to journalism.  He began as a proofreader and later reporter with the Ashland (Ky.) Daily Independent.  As a reporter he covered politics for the Ashland newspaper and then the Kentucky Post before becoming a freelance reporter and columnist for several Kentucky newspapers.
Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll named Auxier as his press secretary in 1976 and later Auxier’s role was expanded to oversee all public information in state government as commissioner of public information.  After Governor Carroll’s term ended in 1979, Auxier relocated to Washington, D.C., where he joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.  He served as the communications director for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs which Nelson chaired.
When Nelson was defeated for reelection in 1980, Auxier became press secretary to U.S. Sen. Walter Huddleston of Kentucky where he served until Huddleston was defeated in 1984 by Mitch McConnell.  
At this point in his career, Auxiier decided to explore opportunities in the private sector.  In 1985, he joined the Washington office of Burson-Marsteller, at that time one of the largest public relations firms in the world.  He stayed with Burson for the next 21 years, working primarily out of Washington with several stints in their New York headquarters.  For much of that time Auxier managed the Philip Morris account, one of the largest clients of the agency.  It was easily Auxier’s favorite client and many friendships he made there continued long after his retirement in 2006.
Auxier eventually rose to be executive vice president of Burson-Marsteller and for several years served as chief operating officer of the Washington office where he managed a large staff.
Auxier was a gourmet cook and loved entertaining.  He hosted an annual New Year’s Eve dinner featuring entrees from duck confit to the Italian veal specialty Osso Bucco.   Gary and his wife of 40 years, Jenny Pulliam, loved to travel especially to France and Italy where they could sample many regional cuisines.
Gary is survived by his wife Jenny as well as daughter Cassie Auxier and son-in-law Abe Bates of Louisville, Ky.  Also surviving are his in-laws Beth and Bill Meador of Nashville, Tenn.; Lex and Martha Martin and Gregg and Carolyn Martin, all of Bloomfield, Ky., and Jackie and Roy Drake of Bardstown, Ky.

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