The Woodford Sun

Versailles, Ky.


About Us

March 16, 2000 issue

Melvin G. Clark

Melvin G. Clark, 75, of Frankfort, husband of Virginia Hellard Clark, died at 11:11 a.m. Monday, March 13, 2000, at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center following an illness.

A native of Woodford County, he was a son of the late Dutch G. and Dora Newton Clark. He was a retired welder and a former employee of Dryer-Whitehead-Goedecke. He was a member of the Thornhill Baptist Church.

He is survived by two daughters, Saundra Morris and Karen S. Moore, both of Frankfort; a son, Gary "Bubby" Clark, Frankfort; three stepdaughters, JoAnn Payton, Louisville, and Bonnie Franklin and Connie Harrod, both of Frankfort; two stepsons, Eddie Stratton, Louisville, and Tony Stratton, Leavenworth, Kansas; a sister, Mildred Sutherland, Georgetown; a brother, Joseph "Joe" Clark, Millville; 15 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be conducted at 2 p.m. today, March 16, at the Sunset Funeral Home, Woodford County, by the Rev. David Burns and the Rev. Chuck Beighle. Burial will be in the Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Casket bearers will be Ryan Stratton, Neal Harrod, Brad Franklin, Mark Stratton, Chad Rodgers, and Gerrod Clark. Honorary bearers will be Jim Franklin, Terry Harrod, Isaac Payton, Joe Morris, Bill Webb, George Hellard, and Ronnie Joe Clark.

Donations are suggested to Hospice of the Bluegrass, Franklin County, 208 Steele Street, Frankfort 40601.


David Rutherford

David S. Rutherford, 64, of Frankfort, a son of the late Wheeler and Ella Elizabeth Young Rutherford, died Thursday, March 9, 2000, at the Frankfort Regional Medical Center.

A Jonesville, Va., native, he was a retired Kentucky State Police facility security officer and a member of the Old Cedar Baptist Church in Monterey.

Survivors include a daughter, Michelle Southerland, Frankfort; three brothers, Ray Rutherford, Midway; Dauser Rutherford, Frankfort, and Dee Rutherford, Carrollton; two sisters, Dorothy Bond, Sparta, and Carolyn Shewmaker, Versailles, Mo., and a grandchild. Two brothers, Doris and William Rutherford, are deceased.

Services were conducted at 11 a.m. Monday, March 13, at the Harrod Brothers Memorial Chapel, Frankfort, by Dauser Rutherford and Robert Cable. Burial was in the Frankfort Cemetery. Casket bearers were Clyde Stratton, Arthur Smith, J. T. Harmon, Troy Sutherland, Gary Bond, and Ronnie Bond. Honorary bearers were Eck Broughton, Ralph Bond, Jimmy Bond, Jack Flynn, Chester Snelling, and John Conway.


Stephen L. Searcy

Stephen Lamont Searcy, 20, of 244 Bryanwood, Versailles, son of Jo Ann Campbell, Versailles, and Roger Searcy, Lexington, died Thursday, March 9, 2000, in Lexington.

He was a native of Woodford County and was recognized for his sports prowess.

Mr. Searcy had played middle school football for Woodford County and then attended Lexington Catholic High School, where he was an exceptional basketball player in the late 1990s. He was given the coach's "110-percent Award" two years straight, but was heartbroken when he did not make the all-state, or even the all-city, team, his mother said.

An article that appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader following Mr. Searcy's death told of his despair after the Lexington Catholic team lost a state tournament semifinal game on March 21, 1998, on a last-minute three-point shot.

Afterwards, with a month to go before he graduated, the 18-year-old dropped out of school. Mr. Searcy, who was black, stopped making the trip from his grandmother's house in a low-income neighborhood to the predominantly white private school, the Herald-Leader article said.

"After they didn't win the state tournament that year, he didn't want any more basketball," his mother was quoted as saying. With the game gone, her son was lost. "He wouldn't talk with anyone," she said.

Danny Haney, who coached Mr. Searcy at Lexington Catholic, said he'd met with him a couple of weeks ago, trying to persuade the former player to finish up classes and try for a junior college scholarship.

Having fathered a baby this past month, Mr. Searcy seemed to have more direction, Haney said.

"I've got a lot of unanswered questions," Mr. Searcy's mother said as she stood in a room looking at some of her son's basketball trophies. "He was fighting something; I don't know what, but he was fighting."

The Fayette coroner's office is awaiting final toxicology results before releasing the cause of Mr. Searcy's death.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Searcy is survived by his special friend, Allison Burkley, Lexington; his daughter, Aspyn Mattea Burkley; four sisters, Letitia Stepp, Shawna Stepp, Bianca Searcy, and Lee Michelle Howard; his grandparents, Joe and Katie Campbell and Lenora Searcy; two nieces; a nephew, and a cousin.

Services were conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, March 13, at the First Baptist Church, Versailles, by the Rev. Floyd Greene. Interment was in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Woodford County. The Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home, Versailles, was in charge of arrangements. Memorials are suggested to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 8701 Leeds Road, Kansas City, Mo. 64129, or to the First Baptist Church building fund.


Kevin Wilson II

Kevin Dale "Shorty" Wilson II, 17, of Ford's Mill Rd., Woodford County, died Tuesday, March 7, 2000, of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on Mundy's Landing Road.

Kevin was driving a 1986 Chevrolet pickup and was attempting to pass a Nissan pickup when his truck ran off the road. He overcorrected, and the truck crossed the road and ran into a plank fence, said Woodford County Police Officer Bruce Wyatt.

Kevin died instantly from internal head injuries caused by the fence plank, Woodford County Coroner Steve Ward said.

A passenger in Kevin's truck, Jacob Simmerman, 18, was taken to a Lexington hospital, where he received stitches and was dismissed, Ward said. Both Kevin and his passenger were wearing seatbelts, Wyatt said.

None of the three juveniles in the Nissan pickup was hurt.

A member of the junior class at Woodford County High School, Kevin was an active member of the FFA and had worked for MacDougal's Garden Center and his father's garage and wrecker service. He had a reputation as a good mechanic. He had attended Clover Bottom Baptist Church and the Mt. Edwin United Methodist Church.

A moment of silence in Kevin's memory was held at the high school the morning after the accident, and his traditional parking spot at school was kept open.

Kevin was the son of Kevin D. and Nancy Strange Wilson, Woodford County, and Leesa Miles Turner, Cynthiana.

He is also survived by his grandparents, C. D. and Louise Wilson, Ralph and Bert Centers, and Curtis Strange and Eula Miles; a sister, Dagni Wilson, Cynthiana; a brother, Charlie Wilson, Georgetown; a stepbrother, Joey Johnson, Versailles, and two stepsisters, Ellen Johnson, Versailles, and Amanda Ellis, Frankfort.

Services were conducted at 1 p.m. Friday, March 10, at the Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home, Versailles, by the Rev. Don Flanigan and the Rev. Carl Jones. Interment was in the Rose Crest Cemetery, Versailles. Casket bearers were Justin Carey, David Carey, Brian Burkhead, Tom Wilson, Bo Wilson, Ronnie Stratton, Jeff Stanfield, David Strange, and Chris Hall. Honorary bearers were James Fougere, David Sutherland, Billy Sutherland, Brad Jones, Blake Jones, Ryan Miller, Branson Hudgins, Buddy Berger, Danny Bunton, and the members of the Woodford County High School FFA.