Iris Blair

1926-2019

Iris Mildred Blair was born December 8, 1926 to the late Asbury and Mabel Williamson Ward and passed away on February 28, 2019. 

On September 24, 1947 Iris married Dennis Vincent Blair, who preceded her in death.  She was also preceded in death by one infant son, Donald Lee Blair; one brother, Ralph Ward; two sisters, Wilma Moore and Marie Pelphrey; and two infant sisters.

She is survived by her two sons, Ronnie D. Blair (Sara Hopson Blair) of Paintsville, and James D. Blair (Mary Jane) of Staffordsville. Also surviving are one grandson, Matthew Blair and his wife, Erin of Union, Ky.; and two great-grandchildren, Cade and Avery Blair; one granddaughter, Carrie Blair Messal and husband Landon of Charleston, S. C.; and three great-granddaughters, Cora, Quinn, and Emily. (Iris also claimed one honorary daughter, Mary Rutledge of West Van Lear. Also surviving is a community of neighbors, friends, dance partners, Rook players, and brothers and sisters in Christ.

Iris was a faithful member and piano player at the West Van Lear Missionary Baptist Church for over sixty years until she changed her residency to Paintsville and attended First Baptist Church until the time of her passing.

Visitation will be held at the First Baptist Church on Friday, March 8, 2019 from 1 p.m.-9 p.m. and until time of service on Saturday.

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m.

Burial will follow at the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery at Staffordsville.

In lieu of flowers, the families have requested donations be made to the First Baptist Church in Paintsville by contacting the Paintsville Funeral Home.

Arrangements under the directions of the Paintsville Funeral Home.

This is a paid obituary.

Emma Blanton

1922-2019

Emma Jean Blanton, age 96, of Staffordsville, went home to be with the Lord on March 2, 2019.

Emma was born November 30, 1922 to Hoy and Minnie McKenzie Vanhoose in Johnson County.

She is preceded in death by both of her parents, Hoy and Minnie McKenzie Vanhoose of Johnson County; husband, Johnnie Blanton of Tutor Key; one son, James Paul Blanton of Tutor Key; one daughter, Bonnie Sue Blanton of Louisville; two brothers, Hoy “Bug” Vanhoose Jr. of Florida, and Harry Thomas Vanhoose of Tutor Key; three sisters, Deloris Witten and Helen Francis Gray, both of Paintsville and Ida Mae Grim of Tutor Key; and one granddaughter, Adrian Hope Murry of Meally.

Surviving are two daughters, Jonna (Jim Bob) Murry and Betty Lou VanHoose, both of Staffordsville; seven grandchildren and three step-grandchildren, along with five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 6, 11 a.m., with John Blanton and Freddy Salyer officiating.

Burial will follow in the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery at Staffordsville.

Arrangements under the direction of the Paintsville Funeral Home.

This is a paid obituary.

Cathy Gullett

1949-2019

Funeral services were held Monday, March 4, 2 p.m. at the Johnson Central High Gym for Cathy Goble Gullett, 69, of Johnson County, who died Friday, March 1, 2019.

Burial was in the James McHenry Davis Cemetery at Davis Branch, Paintsville.

Arrangements under the direction of the Jones-Preston Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Mary Lavender

Mary Lou Lavender, age 80, of Ashland, formerly of Prestonsburg, died peacefully on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center following a brief illness. She was surrounded by her son, Thomas Wade Lavender II of Ashland, her daughter-in-law, Sandy; and her grandsons, Bryan Jefferson and Matthew Jefferson. 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Wade Lavender; her father, Aldo Miller, and her mother, Chloe Branham Goble Owsley; her step-father, Benton Owsley; brother, Donald H. Goble; and cousin and dear friend, Richard Branham.

In addition to her son, daughter-in-law and grandsons and their wives, Amy Jefferson and Billie Jo Jefferson, she is survived by her sister, Laura Vaughan; her sister-in-law, Maxine Goble; her precious great-grandchildren, Hannah, Luke, Gabriella and Matylyn; nieces, Cheryl Jarrell, Kristal Vaughan, Lisa Hess, Valerie Hurt, Cynthia Lavender, Pamela Goble and Michele Johnson; nephews, Donnie (Tammie) Goble, Dr. Ronald (Laura) Goble and Dr. Timothy (Shanna) Lavender; and very special nieces, Nikki Johnson and Katherine Goble.

Mary Lou lived most of her life in Floyd County. She graduated from Prestonsburg High School in 1955, attended Pikeville College, and graduated from Western Kentucky with a major in English and minor in Spanish. She retired from the Johnson County School System, where she taught English for several years. Earlier in her career, she taught at Prestonsburg High School, Oil Springs High School and Meade Memorial High School. She loved Shakespeare, classical music, and most of all singing. He singing voice was exceptional. Over the years, she sang with the Patsy Teenagers, Prestonsburg Community Chorus and Methodist Church choirs in Prestonsburg, Paintsville, and Ashland.

Later in life, she also greatly enjoyed singing karaoke at every opportunity, especially Patsy Cline songs. Mary Lou loved to laugh. She was a very smart, strong willed, independent person, but also had a very tender heart for both people and animals. At any given time, she usually had multiple stray dogs and cats that would find their way to her somehow. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your local animal shelter or church.

A Memorial service/Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 9 at the Carter Funeral Home in Prestonsburg.

Arrangements under the direction of the Carter Funeral Home of Prestonsburg.

This is a paid obituary.

Geneva Marcum

1927-2019

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, March 6, 1 p.m. at the Phelps & Son Funeral Home Chapel for Geneva Marcum, 91, of Red Bush, who died Saturday, March 2 at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland.

Arrangements under the direction of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Maxine Pratt

1931-2019

Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 5, 2019 for Maxine Arnett Pratt, age 87, of Staffordsville, who died Saturday, March 2 at her residence.

Mrs. Pratt was born June 30, 1931 in Magoffin County, daughter of the late Ruben and Mattie Lovely Arnett. She was also preceded in death by husband, Jim Pratt; two brothers, Dewey and Roy Arnett; two sisters, Alka Montgomery and Faye Brown; and one great-grandchild, Amy Castle.

Surviving are two daughters, Donna Sue (Fred) Ratliff of West Van Lear and Joan Carol Pratt (Rocky Blevins) of Staffordsville; two grandchildren, Patty (Henderson) Jude of Debord, and Kelli Ratliff of West Van Lear; and one great-grandchild, Chris Castle.

The service was officiated by Ronnie Spriggs, with burial in the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery at Staffordsville.

Arrangements under the direction of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home of Paintsville.

This is a paid obituary.

Robert Smothers

1954-2019

Robert “Bob” Michael Smothers, age 65, of Flat Gap, died at his home surrounded by his family on March 4, 2019.

He is preceded in death by both his parents, Toby and Nellie Stewart Smothers.

Bob is survived by his wife, Janie Smothers of 34 years; a very close sister, Mary Ann (Darrell) Belcher of Mount Orab, Ohio; two daughters, Kara Ann and Toby and Nella Grace Smothers, both of Flat Gap; one honorary daughter, Denise (Bob) Estep of Flat Gap; two sons, Toby Michael and Dillion Michael Smothers of Flat Gap; four grandchildren, six nieces, seven nephews and numerous cousins.

Bob worked as a mechanical engineer for 45 years. He loved spending time with his children and watch them grow into beautiful young adults. He was always there to help people and was loved by so many.

Visitation will be held at the Paintsville Funeral Home Chapel March 7, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Funeral services will be the day starting at 12 p.m. with Conrotto officiating. There will be a Celebration of Life immediately after the service at Mountain Community Fellowship Church at 219 Greentown Loop, Paintsville.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations be made to the American Cancer Society for the search for a cure.

Arrangements under the direction of the Paintsville Funeral Home.

This is a paid obituary.

Fred Wheeler

1939-2019

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 2, 1 p.m. at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Paintsville, for Fred M. Wheeler, 80, of Salyersville, who died Wednesday, Feb. 27 at his residence.

Mr. Wheeler was born Feb. 25, 1939 in Pikeville, son of the late Glen Marshall Anna Ruth Vanhoose Wheeler. He was also preceded in death by Charles Mitchell and Wendell Ray Wheeler.

Surviving are his wife of 59 years, Alice Penix Wheeler; one daughter, Michelle “Micki” Wheeler Goodman and her husband, Robert, of Salyersville; three granddaughters, Andrea (and BJ) Blair, Leah Goodman, Lana (and Keith) Barnett; five great-grandchildren, Barron Blair, Cameron Blair, Syndi Pennington, Shelby Pennington and Gabriel Barnett; one brother, James (and Judy) Wheeler of Winchester; two sisters, Glenda (and Earl), Lucy and Myra (and Charles) Townsend, both of Winchester; one sister-in-law, Ingrid Wheeler; and a host of nieces and nephews.

The service was officiated by Larry Blair, with burial in the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery at Staffordsville.

Arrangements under the direction of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home of Paintsville.

This is a paid obituary.

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