Ruth Butcher


Ruth E. Fraley Butcher, age 77 of Van Lear, passed away Monday March 25, 2019 at her residence. 

Born January 30, 1942 in Floyd County, she was the daughter of the late Thomas J. Fraley and Okie M. Daniels Fraley. In addition to her parents, Ruth is preceded in death by two brothers, Thomas Fraley and Marshall Fraley.

She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Chester Butcher;  and one daughter, Gretta Jean (Eddie) McKenzie, both of Van Lear; one son, Paul Chester (Miranda) Butcher of Wittensville; one step-son, Kevin Butcher of Wabash, Ind.; two brothers, William (Brenda) Fraley of West Van Lear and Ron (Nadine) Fraley of Van Lear; one sister, Alpharetta Sue Francis of Owingsville; three grandchilden, Ryan Daniels, Danielle McKenzie and Maverick Kyle Butcher; five great-grandchildren, Alyssa Daniels, Bailey Daniels, Emma Daniels, Peyton Daniels and Luke Daniels; and a host of nieces and nephews also survive. 

Ruth was a retired nurse of 32 years at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg and a member of the Auxier Freewill Baptist Church for many years. 

Funeral services will be 12 p.m. Friday, March 29, 2019 in the chapel of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home with burial to follow in the Ashley Butcher Cemetery at Daniels Creek. Bobby Joe Spencer and Rodney Tackett officiated the service. Arrangements are under the direction of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home.

This is a paid obituary.

“Little Dick” Castle Jr.

March 22, 1937 – March 28, 2019

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Jones-Preston Funeral Home Chapel for William “Little Dick” Jackson Castle, Jr., 82, of Tutor Key, who passed away Thursday at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg. 

Burial will follow in the Castle Family Cemetery in Tutor Key.

Arrangements are under the care of the Jones-Preston Funeral Home in Paintsville. 

Ina Johnson


Ina Alberta Wagoner Johnson, age 79, of Tutor Key, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the home of her sister, Faye Wituszynski, in Morehead.

Born April 19, 1939, in Rowan County, she was a daughter of the late Alvia Lee and Lula Hall Wagoner.  In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by one sister, Mary Wagoner Smith, and three brothers, Scottie Wagoner, Richard Wagoner, and infant William Wagoner.

Ina is survived by her husband of 58 years, Donald C. Johnson, whom she married February 11, 1961; three daughters, Ina Louise Bourlon (Jack) of Stillwater, Okla., Barbara Johnson of Lexington, and Marlo Ann Smalley (David) of Louisville; nine grandchildren, Derick Ryan Melvin (Kaci), Robert Dewayne Melvin (Wendi), Cherysh Workman Hunt (Luke), Alexis Ratterman (Bryant), Kaitlyn Ratterman, Lily Smalley; Tammi Shaw, Ryan Bourlon (Angie) and Jacqueline Adams (Elvis); and numerous great grandchildren.

Other survivors include two sisters, Hildreth Faye Wituszynski (Alex) and Marcella Sue Fannin (Harold), and one brother, Ora Thomas Wagoner (Anna), all of Morehead; numerous nieces and nephews; extended family; and dear friends.  

Ina was a former flight attendant for Capital Airways and a well-known cook at the Eagles Nest in Morehead and the Carriage House in Paintsville.  She was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother and a devout member of New Hope Free Will Baptist Church in Tutor Key.  In her final days, Ina was surrounded by her devoted family and continued to be concerned about others, especially her loving husband Don.  

Additional visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals, 400 Fraley Drive, Morehead, KY 40351.   

A Celebration of Life will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals Memorial Chapel with Pastor Southie Fannin, Jr. officiating. 

Interment followed at Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Morehead. 

Arrangements under the direction of the Northcutt & Son Funeral Home of Morehead.

This is a paid obituary.

Patricia Johnson


Funeral services were held Saturday, March 23, 2019, 1 p.m. at the Meally Church of Christ for Patricia Ann Music Johnson, 68, of Meally, who died Wednesday, March 20 at her residence.

She was born Feb. 4, 1951 in Paintsville, daughter of the late Jake Music Jr. and Neva Baldridge Music Parsons. 

She was a retired secretary with the Johnson County School system, and a member of the Meally Church of Christ since Oct. 21, 1967. She was also preceded in death by her step-father, Ora Parsons.

Surviving are her husband, Don Johnson of Meally; one daughter, Dawn Stambaugh of Meally; and one sister, Teresa Sue Music Butcher of Meally

The service was officiated by Wayne Short, with burial in the Fannin Family Cemetery at Chestnut.

Arrangements under the direction of the Magoffin County Funeral Home of Salyersville.

This is a paid obituary.

Tommy Pinson


Funeral services were held Friday, March 29, 2 p.m. at the Phelps & Son Funeral Home Chapel for Tommy Pinson, 72, of Paintsville, who died Tuesday, March 26 at the VA Hospital in Huntington, W. Va.

Burial was in the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery at Staffordsville.

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

Alva Ward


Alva Challie Ward passed away in his home with his son and granddaughters on Wednesday March 20, 2019. He had been ill but was recovering. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Vernita Young Ward; and several brother-in-laws. 

He is survived by his son, Adam Case Ward, of Lexington; granddaughters, Danielle Karen Ward and Allison Case Ward, both of Lexington; sisters, Shelby Blair (Mrs. Paul Blair) of Dola, Ohio and Neva Lee Conley (Mrs. Richard Conley) of Barnett’s Creek; brothers, Doug Ward (Fern Ward) of Hagerhill and Alcus Ward (Herma Lee) of Finley, Ohio; one sister-in-law, Marion Marie Young (Mrs. Charles Booth) of South Williamson, Ky.; and a large host of nieces and nephews. 

The funeral was at 1 p.m. on March 24, 2019 at R. E. Rogers Funeral Home, officiated by Elder Doug Ward, Brother Travis Blair and Elder Pat Gilliland. Burial was at Mountain View Memory Gardens, Huddy, Ky., immediately after the funeral.

Born February 16, 1929, to Edgar and Katie Ward.  He was born in Van Lear, and the family then moved to the Barnett’s Creek Farm near Staffordsville in Johnson County.  He graduated high school from Oil Springs High School in 1947. He entered the Army Air Corps that same year.  He was in the service when the US Air Force was created. He served first at Erding Air Force Base in Germany. He was a part of the Berlin Airlift and his unit was awarded the Berlin Airlift Badge. He was then transferred to MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Fla., where he was a part of the start up of the Strategic Air Command and was a part of Training and Qualification Squadron. He served as Staff Sargent over Aircraft Parts Supply. After he served for six years, Alva was honorably discharged from the Air Force and he returned to Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky in 1952. He fell in love with Geology and with his future wife, Vernita Fern Young. He graduated from UK in 1957 and worked as a Geologist for the Anaconda Copper Mines in Butte, Montana.  He married Vernita in 1957 in Butte.  In 1958, Alva accepted a job as a Geologist for United Fuel, which later became Columbia Gas and was transferred several times between Paintsville and Charleston, W.Va. He worked with Columbia Gas until 1974 when he accepted a position as a Geologist and Well Completion Engineer for Wiser Oil Company and moved his family to Corbin that year.  

He and his wife resided in Corbin until 2009 when Vernita was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and the moved to Lexington to be near their son and his family. Alva was a life member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist, the Kentucky Oil and Gas Association. He was licensed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Professional Geologist. Alva first and foremost was a Christian of the Baptist Faith, he was a wonderful and loving and caring husband, father and grandfather. His loving and quiet nature warmed many lives along his path thru this world. He never left anyone sorry to have known him and talk to him. And he never knew an enemy in his life. He lived his life as his parents and grandparents had taught him by living Christ’s teachings as well as working hard and being loving to all and dedicated to helping others.  

R. E. Rogers Funeral Home of Belfry is serving the Ward Family.  Online condolences at

Courtesy of the Jones-Preston Funeral Home of Paintsville.

This is a paid obituary.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.