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Long-time trustee, Dr. Ralph Athen Tesseneer Jr., dies at 91

Oct. 16, 2015

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Faith. Courage. Joy. Love. Visionary.
Integrity. Authority. Responsibility. Kind. Gentle. Graceful. Visionary.

Dr. Ralph Tesseneer
Dr. Ralph Tesseneer

These words were mentioned over and over during the funeral
of Dr. Ralph Athen Tesseneer Jr., a trustee of Campbellsville University, Oct.
14 as he was eulogized. He was 91.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville
University; Dr. Mike O’Neal, pastor of Campbellsville Baptist Church; General
Noah Loy, chaplain of Bluegrass Way Dr. Larry Noe, a fellow trustee; his
sister, Susan Tesseneer-Pope and his son, Dr. Ralph A. Tesseneer III, gave
testimony to the visionary man who was “Dr. T.”

Tesseneer died Oct. 11 at his home at Bluegrass Way, a year
after his wife of 69 years, Laura Mae Fisher Tesseneer, died Feb. 13, 2014.

In an announcement about Tesseneer’s death, Carter said, “On
behalf of the Campbellsville University family, we extend our heartfelt
sympathy to the family of Dr. Ralph Tesseneer.

“He was truly a dedicated Christian servant leader who gave
of his time, talents, and resources to Campbellsville University as well as to
other universities during a very accomplished career.

“He touched the lives of so many students during his time in
higher education, and he served the larger community and the church in numerous

“Dr. Tesseneer was one of the true visionaries on the Board
of Trustees of Campbellsville University, and his impact will long be evident.
We will be praying for all of the family in the days to come.”

Tesseneer served as a trustee in 1991-94, 1995-98, 2001-04,
2005-08, 2005-2008, 2010-13 and 2014-15. He was an associate trustee in 2009.

Tesseneer was a psychology professor at Western Kentucky
State College, McNeese State College, Murray State University (where he was
also dean of the Graduate School), Northern Kentucky University (where he was
also vice president, interim president and president of the Foundation)
University of Durham in Durham, England (as a visiting professor) and
Campbellsville University (where he was also vice president for development).

Tesseneer was the recipient of multiple academic and
community awards and recognitions. He was a life-long Baptist and served as a
deacon, and in other leadership positions, in numerous churches. He was a
devoted Rotarian and the president of several Rotary clubs. He was a Rotary
District Governor in Kentucky.

Tesseneer was a counseling psychologist in mental health
clinics in communities where he lived; he was also a frequent public speaker
and an educational consultant. He was known as a “visionary in his thinking and
warm and caring in his interactions with everyone he met.”

He earned a B.A. in Psychology from Tufts College, an M.A.
in Educational Administration and Psychology from Peabody College and a Ph.D.
in Educational Psychology from Louisiana State University.

Tesseneer spent his high school and early college years in
Murray, Ky. During World War II, he served in the Navy in the Pacific Theater.

He was
the son of the late Ralph Athen Tesseneer Sr. and Susan Geneva Kirkland
Tesseneer, and was born in Russellville, Ala., on April 23, 1924.

He is survived by a daughter, Susan Tesseneer Walters and
husband, Joe, of Campbellsville, Ky.; son, Dr. Ralph Athen Tesseneer III, and
wife, Beverly, of Spartanburg, S.C., and Herbert Hoffman Tesseneer and wife,
Gale, of Florence, Ky.; three grandchildren: John Athen Tesseneer of
Spartanburg, S.C., Neely Tesseneer Benton and husband, Brad, of Moorhead, Minn.,
and Davaajargal Dorjsuren of Ulan Bator, Mongolia and Campbellsville, Ky.; two
great grandsons: Thomas Athen Benton and John William Benton.

He is also survived by two sisters:  Myra Jean Tesseneer Cooper and husband, John,
of Texarkana, Texas, and Susan Tesseneer-Pope and husband Ken, of Campbellsville,
Ky. He was preceded in death by his wife; a brother, Gerald Ware Tesseneer, and
a grandson, Ralph Joseph Walters.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be
made to: The Ralph and Laura Tesseneer Scholarship Fund at Campbellsville
University, Gideon’s International or Hosparus of Central Kentucky. Memorial
gifts can be sent to Parrott-Ramsey Funeral Home for distribution: 418 Lebanon
Ave., Campbellsville, KY 42718. Burial was in Brookside Cemetery. 

University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more
than 3,500 students offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s
degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The
website for complete information is