The Woodford Sun

Versailles, Ky.


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Recent Obituaries

January 16, 2014



Ben Walter Cox, 80, joined his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Friday, Jan. 10, 2014.

Born Sept. 8, 1933, at Millville, he was the son of the late Gladys Thompson and John Walter Cox. He served his country in the U.S. Navy (1951-1955) as a Med Tech stationed in Key West, Fla., and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on the USS Missouri. Benny was a dairy specialist in the U.K. College of Agriculture for 43-˝ years, retiring in 1998. Benny was married to the love of his life, Lillie Tilghman Cox, for 57-˝ years.

Survivors include his son, Marvin Wallace Cox (Julie, Jamie, Jacob & Wyatt), of Lexington. He was a 50-year plus member of Versailles Baptist Church, worked with the youth, was an avid golfer, played on many golf teams winning many tournaments, was a UK Wildcat fan, woodworker, volunteer in Woodford County and at the Lexington Opera House (SOH), was a high school basketball referee, hot air balloonist and he loved to read and travel. Also surviving is his brother-in-law, Kenneth (Linda) Tilghman; nieces Tracy Tilghman and Kristin (Andrew) Coyle; great-nieces Ella Tilghman and Evelyn Sloane Coyle; along with a host of family and friends across Kentucky and the U.S., whom he loved and was thankful for.

Funeral services were conducted Tuesday, Jan. 14, at the Versailles Baptist Church by the Rev. John Brandon. Burial was at Rose Crest Cemetery. Pallbearers were Bob Dawson, Patty Doyle, John Long, Eli Miller, Kenneth Tilghman, Carey Tinchenor, Butch Turley and Scott Walker. Honorary pallbearers were Bobbie and Roy Benson, Whit Biggerstaff, Bessie Bain, Dianna Baker, Joy and Norman Green, Edith Hogg, Cliff Allen, Dr. William Childers and staff, Hubert Smith, Gerri and Bill Phelps, Teresa and John Owen Range, Pat Giles, Roger Laws, and Ona Sturgeon. Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Contributions are suggested to Versailles Baptist Church missions offerings, Hospice of the Bluegrass, Woodford Humane Society, or the Woodford County Food Pantry.

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(Paid obituary)



August William Geist Jr., 90, widower of Margaret Esela Geist, died Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014.

A native of Springfield, Ill., he was the son of the late August and Helen Dressendorfer Geist. A retired systems analyst with the federal government, he was a member of St. Leo Catholic Church in Versailles.

Survivors include seven children, Sharon Neal, Greenville, Pa., Barbara (Charles) Aldrich, Nicholasville, Beverly (Dean) Cornwell, Rotunda West, Fla., Nancy (Carl) Shacklock, Greenville, Pa., Calvin Geist, Lexington, Shirley (Randy) Denney, Versailles, and Deborah Geist, Lexington; a son-in-law, Michael (Cindy) Long, Chattanooga, Tenn.; two sisters, Catherine Cowley, Dyer, Ind., and Helen VanDyke, Springfield, Ill.; 11 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. A son, Patrick William Geist; a daughter, Kathleen Louise Long; two brothers, Robert L. Geist and James Edward Geist; a sister, Mary C. Geist; and a granddaughter, Natalie Neal, are deceased.

Services were conducted Wednesday, Jan. 15, at St. Leo Catholic Church, Versailles, with entombment in Calvary Cemetery. Casket bearers were his grandsons. Milward-Southland, Lexington, was in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice of the Bluegrass or Taylor Manor Nursing Home, Versailles.



Margaret Lee Mercer, 91, of Versailles, widow of Morton B. Mercer, died Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, at the Masonic Home of Shelbyville.

Born Sept. 3, 1922, in Washington County, she was the daughter of the late Jessie Darnell and Thomas Yates. She was the fourth of 11 children. She was a member of Versailles United Methodist Church and a lifetime member of the Brilliant Star Chapter #153 Order of the Eastern Star. She was retired from AB Dick Printing Company in Louisville.

Survivors include a daughter, Barbara Diersing (Arthur), Versailles; two grandchildren, Mellissa Diersing, Lexington, and Todd Diersing, Clemson, S.C.; two great-grandchildren, Madelyn and Emily Diersing, Clemson, S.C.; two sisters, Betty Royalty, Springfield, and Mary Mattingly, Louisville; and a brother, Bud Yates, Springfield.

Services were conducted Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Shannon Funeral Home, Shelbyville, by the Rev. Jesse Baxter.

Expressions of sympathy may be made to Masonic Home of Shelbyville, P.O. Box 909, Shelbyville, KY 40066.



Joanne Stiles Perkins, 73, of New Haven, widow of James Franklin Perkins, died Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, at the residence of her daughter in Shelbyville.

Born in Adair County, she was the daughter of Josephine Oliver Stiles and the late George G. Stiles. She was a member of the Union Band Baptist Church in Stiles, Ky. She was a member of the John Fitch Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and the Rho Chi Society. She was a pharmacist.

In addition to her mother, she is survived by seven children, Angela Girdley (Jim), Fountain Run, Paul Perkins, New Haven, Jay Perkins, Louisville, Elizabeth Spugnardi (Jim), Shelbyville, Jennifer Gaither (Chris), Louisville, Phillip Perkins (Sharon), Louisville, and Andy Perkins (Crystal), New Haven; a brother, David Stiles, Oklahoma; an aunt, Dorothy Stiles Miller, Versailles, and her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A sister, Ruth Whelan, is deceased.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Union Band Baptist Church in Stiles by the Rev. Wyndee Holbrook. Visitation will follow the service. Interment will be in the Stiles Family Cemetery in a private family service and at a later date. Hall-Taylor Funeral Home of Shelbyville is in charge of arrangements.

Contributions may be made to the Stiles Family Cemetery Fund, in care of Bill Shoemaker, 180 Gaddys Ford Road, Howardstown, KY 40051; Union Band Baptist Church, in care of Herbie Stephens, 1650 Howardstown Road, Hodgenville, KY 42748; or Hosparus, 3532 Ephraim McDowell Drive, Louisville, KY 40205.

Condolences may be expressed at



Carolyn Louise Preston, 79, of Frankfort, and a longtime resident of Woodford County, wife of Thomas L. Preston, died Monday, December 30, 2014, at the Hospice Care Center in Lexington.  

The Ashland native, daughter of the late A. J. and Lucille Points, attended Virginia Intermont College, where she was a member of that school’s synchronized swim team. In 1956, she gained a BS degree from the University of Kentucky in dietetics and nutrition, subsequently receiving an MA degree in that profession. Mrs. Preston quickly became a civic and business leader. Following positions as clinical dietitian at Ashland’s King’s Daughters Hospital and the King County Medical Center, Seattle, WA, she later entered private practice consulting on food science and special regimes involving difficult diagnostic cases. Among Mrs. Preston’s various works were: junior fine arts chairman for the Kentucky Women’s Club; Jewell Manor state committee; advisory committee, National Foundation of State Women; advisory roles to the Kentucky Democratic Party; Central Kentucky Regional Mental Health board; Chi Omega and the Kentucky Philanthropic Educational Organization. Additionally: Harrison County Jr. Women’s Club president; Harrison Memorial Hospital Auxiliary president and chairman of that institution’s candy stripers; sponsor of The Raven Sorority; various leadership positions within the Cynthiana Presbyterian Church and Harrison County Heart Fund director. The Prestons moved to Woodford County in 1971 and operated a farm on McCowans Ferry Road for 29 years.  She was a member of the Versailles Presbyterian Church deeply engaged in music and the choir. In her healthier years, she sang in several choirs. These and further accomplishments earned Mrs. Preston recognition in Outstanding Young Women of America, as well as Personalities of the South. Until the last decade and a half when steadily increasing health confined most time to her home, she sang in different church choirs. 

Besides her husband she is survived by a son, Matthew Thomas Preston, his wife, Ashley, along with twin granddaughters, Sarah and Emily, and grandson, Jacob, all of Ashburn, VA; two brothers, Thomas Points, Hominy, OK, and Steven Points, Pinehurst, NC; and a sister, Mrs. Richard Paschen, Westerville, OH. 

A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m., Saturday, January 18, at the Versailles Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Melissa Sevier officiating. A reception will follow services.  Remembrances are suggested to the church. Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

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(Paid obituary)



Mary Sallee, 83, of Versailles, a retired University of Kentucky swithchboard operator, widow of Kenneth Sallee, died Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at the Rockcastle Regional Hospital.

Born in Lexington, she was the daughter of the late Jessie and Lena Sutton Waters. She had attended the New Hope Baptist Church.

Survivors include a son, Clifford (Donna) Bradley, Versailles; a stepdaughter, Rosemary (Dennis) Huston, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; a sister, Jackie (Bill) Daniels, Ohio; a brother, Charles (Eva) Waters, Lexington; two grandchildren, Heather (Jeff) Moffett and Whitney (Ryan) Couch; and three great-grandchildren, Abby and Emma Moffett, and Tanner Couch. A sister, Frances Leonard, is deceased.

Services will be conducted at 10 a.m. today, Thursday, Jan. 16, at Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home by the Rev. Gene Roberts. Burial will follow in Rose Crest Cemetery. Casket bearers will be Jeff Moffett, Sandy Redmon, Rusty Rodgers, Justin Waters, and Shannon Osten.

Memorials are suggested to the Rockcastle County Regional Hospital Miracle Fund, 145 Newcomb Avenue, Mt. Vernon, KY 40456.

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See past obituaries here.