The Woodford Sun

Versailles, Ky.


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Recent Obituaries


July 20, 2006



Jewell Simpson Brown, 92, of Versailles, formerly of Crab Orchard, widow of Ernest C. Brown, died Thursday, July 13, 2006, in Lexington.

Born Dec. 15, 1913, in Lincoln County, she was the daughter of the late Oscar and Daisy Hoskins Simpson. She was a member of the Bethel Church of Christ and was a homemaker.

Survivors include two sons, Billy C. Brown, Louisville, and Gail Brown, Cincinnati, Ohio; a daughter, Marilyn Pope, Versailles; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. A brother, Clarence Simpson; and two sisters, Velva Genton and May Etta Brown, are deceased.

Services were conducted Monday, July 17, at McKnight Funeral Home Chapel by Bro. Russell Dunaway and Bro. Danny Lamb. Burial was in Mt. Zion Church of Christ Cemetery. Casket bearers were Oscar Brown, Fred Simpson, Rick Genton, Greg Pope, Jeff Brown and Bryan Hill.



Matthew Ian Cowart, 26, of Lancaster, died Wednesday, July 5, 2006.

Born May 4, 1980, in Cookeville, Tenn., he was the son of Darrell and Rhonda Cowart, Lancaster, and Carol Stewart, Jeffersonville, Ind.

Survivors include four siblings, Derek Hartley, Lancaster, Kasey Hartley, Benton, Evan Walther, Jeffersonville, and Amelia Barker, Jeffersonville; his grandparents, Carl and Catherine Ichini, Cordele, Ga., Bobby and Pat Flora, Versailles, and Edna Gorbandt, Charlestown, Ind.; aunts and uncles, Charles Cowart and Terry Cowart, Cordele, Ga., Keith Flora, Versailles, Andy Cowart, Nicholasville, and Cheryl Peach, Lawrenceburg. His grandfather, Charles Oren Cowart, and an aunt, Bonnie Brown, are deceased.

Memorial donations accepted at 395 Delbar Drive, Lancaster, KY 40444.



William Erskine Ockerman, 79, husband of the late Betty Ockerman, died Wednesday, July 12, 2006, at Jewish Hospital in Shelbyville.

A native of Woodford County, he was the son of the late Herman and Emma Colvin Ockerman. He was a retired Staggs Distillery employee and was a World War II Navy veteran. He was a member of the Alton Baptist Church.

Survivors include a daughter, Carolyn Barnes, Lawrenceburg; a son, Larry Ockerman, Lawrenceburg; three sisters, Ruth Routt and Wanda True, both of Versailles, and Betty Ann McClean, Frankfort; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A grandson, P.D. Barnes, is deceased.

Services were conducted Saturday, July 15, at Clark Funeral Home, Versailles Road, Frankfort, by the Rev. Rick Shannon and the Rev. Tommy Barnes. Burial was in Sunset Memorial Gardens. Casket bearers were Shane Sutton, Donnie Mefford, Jonathan Cole, Denny Morgan, Don Powers and Lonnie Brown.

Memorials are suggested to Gideons International.



Joe Louis Washington, 70, of Midway, husband of Helen Ingguls Washington, died Sunday, July 16, 2006, of cancer.

A Woodford County native, he was the son of the late George and Nola McIntyre Washington. He was a member and deacon of the Second Christian Church of Midway. He was a 20-year veteran of the U. S. Air Force and retired from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, where he was a building management supervisor at the Cooper Drive division.†

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Loretta Washington, Midway; two aunts, Pinkie Spriggs and Thelma Mazey, both of Dayton, Ohio; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. today, Thursday, July 20, at the Second Christian Church by Pastor Edgar Wallace and Pastor Robert Wilson. Interment will follow at Midway Cemetery. Casket bearers will be Marcus Crawford, Norman Crawford, Andrew Crawford, Cecil Washington, Norris Ingguls Jr., Jeffrey Washington, and Timmy Washington. Honorary bearers will be officers of Second Christian Church. Friends may visit after 11 a.m. Thursday at the church. Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to Hospice of the Bluegrass, 208 Steele Street, Frankfort, KY 40601.

Guest book at



Cinda Wellman, 59, of 191Birch Road, wife of Ferrell Wellman Jr., mother of Dale Wellman, Versailles, and Chad Wellman, Williamstown, Mass., died Monday, July 17, 2006, after an accident while on vacation in Traverse City, Mich.

Mrs. Wellman was relaxing in a hammock stretched between two trees when one of them fell on her, causing multiple injuries from blunt abdominal and chest injuries. She died of blood loss. Her husband’s attempts at revival via mouth-to-mouth resuscitation were futile due to the severity of her injuries. Her death was ruled an accident by Dr, Matthew Houghton, chief medical examiner for Grand Traverse, Benzie, and Leelanau counties in Michigan.

Mrs. Wellman, a Cincinnati native, was a former employee of the Woodford County Schools as an after-school coordinator at Huntertown Elementary School, and most recently was employed as a counselor by the state Personnel Cabinet. She had also worked for the Cleveland Home. She was active in a local homemakers club and had been a member of the local Red Hat Society. She danced with the Cincinnati Civic Ballet as a teenager and received a bachelor of science degree in psychology from the University of Kentucky in 1969.

Her husband, a former reporter for WAVE-TV in Louisville, was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in April.

Arrangements were pending at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Road, Lexington, when The Sun went to press.



Betty Wilhoit, 68, of Versailles, retired Woodford County Fiscal Court clerk and wife of Anthony Morgan “Tony” Wilhoit Sr., died Tuesday, July 18, 2006, at her home after a long struggle with cancer.

Born Betty Joyce Wilson on Aug. 22, 1937, she was the daughter of the late Edward and Margaret Chapman Wilson.

Mrs. Wilhoit served as clerk for several judges-executive, including Matt Blackard, Jenny Given, Denny Nunnelley, Frank Watts, and, current Judge-executive Joe D. Gormley. She retired in 2002.

Gormley, who is also a longtime family friend of the Wilhoits and who grew up with Mrs. Wilhoit, was not at a loss for words when it came to describing her.

“She was a mother, a friend, a matriarch … she had courage, faithfulness, and was extremely bright,” Gormley said, also remembering Mrs. Wilhoit as being an outstanding student and a “beauty queen” in her younger years.

Gormley said Mrs. Wilhoit worked for Texas Instruments in its early years in the 1950s and was extremely loyal to that organization. She felt as though she had lost a member of the family when the plant was closed, Gormley said.

Mrs. Wilhoit’s long struggle with cancer began in 1980, and time and again she defied the odds. Gormley was an admirer of her determination and spirit. “It’s amazing she could withstand it all,” he said.

He also noted her profound grasp of the workings of county government, and said he learned much about how that government functions from her.

Ultimately, Gormley said, Mrs. Wilhoit’s greatest gift was her caring for people -- her family, her church, and her community. She was a longtime active member of St. Leo Catholic Church, where she sang in the choir.

In addition to her husband of 47 years, she is survived by her eight children, Tony Wilhoit Jr. (Wendy), Johnny Wilhoit (Terri), Ellie Castle (Tommy), Kathy Miller (Jeff), Patrick Wilhoit, Amy Sword (Steve), Sarah Wilhoit, all of Versailles, and Maggie Knauss (Jay), Louisville; a daughter-in-law, Teresa Shipp Wilhoit, Versailles;19 grandchildren, Brad, Chris, Josh, Angie, Morgan, Andi, John and Olivia Wilhoit, Matthew, Annie, Emily and Eli Castle, Patrick, Addison and Chapman Hollin, Adam Miller, Alec and Spenser Knauss and Peyton Baxter Wilhoit; a great-grandchild, Carter Wilhoit; a sister-in-law, Paula Moberly; two sisters, Clarice Crews, Virginia, and Juanita Ball, Parkers Lake; and a brother, Marion Wilson (Mary), Versailles. Three sisters, Mildred Hartley, Ella Deeringer, and Connie Priddy; and a brother, Ed Wilson, are deceased.

A funeral Mass will be conducted at 10 a.m. Friday, July 21, at St. Leo Catholic Church. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. today, Thursday, July 20, at Clark Funeral Home, Rose Hill. Her grandsons will serve as casket bearers. Honorary casket bearers will be Marietta Gregor, Dr. Joseph and Ann Binford, Judge Paul and Anna Isaacs, Gordie Shaw, Paul Noel Jr., and Dr. William Graul.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Leo Catholic Church or Hospice of the Bluegrass.

Condolences may be made to the family at


Obituaries from past issues: Click here