Coletta Shouse

Coletta Shouse was a fighter all the way to the end, even when her final breath passed from her lips on Jan. 7, 2023, in a Henderson hospital room surrounded by her loved ones. She was 81 years old.

(Nov. 26, 1941-Jan. 7, 2023)

Coletta Shouse loved the roses she grew beside the house along the lake.

No matter how dark the winter, the flowers burst confidently each spring in a bouquet of red and white. Coletta could have a bite as sharp as the thorns along the stems, but she was also as resilient and beautiful as the blooms that would come mid-summer and endure till the cold came again. Tough, intelligent and independent she was, as hardy as any rose she grew.

In her early 30s, Coletta found herself divorced and raising four children on her own. She didn’t wither. Instead, Coletta went to school, obtained her real estate license and became one of the top real estate brokers in Union County.

Then there was the death of a teenage son so young, a pain that would stay with her through her remaining years. Yet she endured by surrounding herself with a love that would last nearly 45 years and Coletta continued on, supported by lifelong friends, her children and the grandbabies who called her “my Nan.”

She was a fighter all the way to the end, even when her final breath passed from her lips on Jan. 7, 2023, in a Henderson hospital room surrounded by her loved ones. She was 81 years old.

Coletta Dyer Banks Shouse was born Nov. 26, 1941, in Morganfield, the oldest child of the late James C. “Bud” and Lois Banks. There was a brief move to Louisville, but she spent most of her formative years in Morganfield, attending St. Ann’s School. She and her younger brother, Gene “Corky” Banks, would write fan letters to movie stars at the time and had a folder full of their signed photos.

Coletta Dyer Banks Shouse was born Nov. 26, 1941, in Morganfield, Ky., the oldest child of the late James C. “Bud” and Lois Banks.

“We come up rough. There were no golden spoons in our family. She was just a good sister. She was just like any other teenage girl,” Corky said.  “I remember she taught me how to dance. She was a really good dancer.”

Coletta would graduate from St. Vincent Academy in 1959. She and Bernard Thomas married in 1960 and Coletta spent many of the next 12 years raising their four children. Following their divorce, Coletta got her real estate license and became a licensed broker and spent the next 25 years working for Kurtz Auction and Realty in Morganfield.

“She was very much a business-savvy type person and she was proud of that. Even 30 years later, she’d tell you that she was a real estate broker,” said Joanna Bingham, her youngest daughter. “She was a go-getter. She loved auctions and she’d take us with her on Saturdays when she worked auctions. She loved being with the people and being a part of the community that way. She wasn’t a sit-at-home and be-pretty-type person.”

In 1973, Coletta married banker H.T. Shouse and they’d spend the next 42 years together. In addition to her real estate work, where they had several rental properties, the couple also operated the popular Dairy Maid restaurant in Morganfield for a couple of years. It was where she’d worked as a teenager as a waitress.

Coletta and H.T. would eventually retire in 1988 and move to their home on Barkley Lake, where she spent most of the next 30 years fishing, boating, growing roses and hosting her grandkids on summer outings.

Coletta is survived by two daughters and a son, as well as 14 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a son and her husband of 42 years.

She enjoyed gardening, sewing, decorating her home and shopping. She liked politics and never shied from a good debate. Coletta embraced social media and stayed up on current events and celebrities. With a big bowl of ice cream before her, Coletta’s TV was constantly tuned to the best British shows.

She’d always loved to travel and there were cross-country trips in a RV, a vacation overseas to Germany and she and H.T. would flock with the snowbirds to Arizona, Texas and Florida.  She even went to Vegas for a weekend and watched Celine Dion with her youngest daughter.

Soon after H.T.’s death in 2016, she moved back to Morganfield, remodeled a home and reunited with her former St. Vincent classmates and lifelong friends such as Dodie Babillis, Linda Banks, Janet Robertson, Mary Jo Carr and Florence Alvey. There were trips to Charleston, S.C., Nashville, Tenn., and the Mississippi Delta and a jaunt to Vincennes, Ind., for watermelons. She also relished a weekly bridge group with Helen Jane McElroy, Mary McElroy and Anna Morgan.

Many of Coletta’s later years were spent traveling with friends and family.

“Most people knew her as a very fierce, strong woman,” said her daughter, Joanna Bingham. “Of course, she had to be a very strong lady with all the things she’d been through. She was very independent and very much a fighter and she fought to the end.”

Since 2021, Coletta had battled lung disease. And she continued to fight until the end when a combination of COVID and pneumonia took her life.

“Most people knew her as a very fierce, strong woman,” Joanna said. “Of course, she had to be a very strong lady with all the things she’d been through. She was very independent and very much a fighter and she fought to the end.”

Survivors include a son, Chris Thomas and his wife, Melinda, of Morganfield; two daughters, Terilynn Thomas Sellers and her husband, Tony, of Longview, Texas; and Joanna Thomas Bingham and her husband, Tommy, of Eddyville; a brother, Gene “Corky” Banks, and his wife, Cassandra, of Morganfield; a brother-in-law, Brian Ebelhar, of Sturgis; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, H.T. Shouse; a son, Mark Thomas; and sister, Analois Ebelhar.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, 2023, at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the funeral home.

Memorial donations can be made in Coletta’s memory to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Whitsell’s Funeral Home in Morganfield is in charge of the arrangements.

Brenda Robinson

Brenda Diane Babbs Robinson
Nov. 7, 1949-March 12, 2022

MORGANFIELD, Ky. — In Cat Alley, when the flood waters recede and the sun comes again, a bouquet of daisies and lilies erupt from the black soil – fertile ground tended by the river bottom farmers and their families.

It was in that dark dirt where Brenda Diane Babbs Robinson was born 72 years ago, scratched out a living with her high school sweetheart and sprouted forth a family nurtured by her loving and kind nature, the bloom being the happiness that came from the joy she brought others.

And it is that same Union County ground where Brenda returns after her death Saturday, March 12, 2022, at Red Banks Nursing Home in Henderson.

Born Nov. 7, 1949, Brenda was the youngest of six children born to Houston and Lucille Babbs, who farmed the bottom land bordering the Ohio River. She spent her childhood riding ponies and on the tractor alongside her daddy as he tilled the fields of corn and beans.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauty was the basketball homecoming queen and popular with her classmates at Union County High School, where she graduated in 1967. One day on a school bus, Roy Robinson fought off those suitors and sat beside “the love of his life.” The two started dating, got engaged and on July 15, 1967, were married in the Morganfield First Baptist Church.

Brenda Robinson is shown with her husband, Roy, not longer after their marriage in July 1967. (Photo from Brenda’s Facebook page)

The newlyweds moved to Grove Center and into a home they shared for the next half century. While Roy farmed, Brenda worked as a secretary at several local businesses and eventually opened her own gift shop, The Robin’s Nest, and also took up photography, specializing in children’s and family portraits. 

Family was important to Brenda and her greatest moments were in giving birth to her children and raising them and the grandchildren who’d follow.

In addition to her husband of 54 years, she is survived by her two sons, Rodney Robinson and his wife, Briana, of Morganfield, and Todd Robinson and his wife, Kristie, of Morganfield; and her daughter, Brooke Yoder and her husband, Kevin, of Mission Hills, Kansas; Also surviving are five grandchildren, Riley Henshaw and her husband, Johnathan, of Sturgis, Hanna Hancock and her husband, Landon, of Sturgis, Hunter Robinson, of Morganfield, and Caroline and Eloise Yoder, of Mission Hills, Kansas; and three great-grandchildren, Harper and Jameson Robert Hancock and Hadley Henshaw.

Brenda is also survived by a sister, Daisy Hina, of Sturgis; two brothers, Bill Babbs of Paducah and Don Babbs and his wife, Sue, of Sturgis; a sister-in-law, Linda Banks, of Morganfield; two brothers-in-law, Tom and Richard Robinson, of Morganfield; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother, David Babbs; sister, Bonnie Pfingston; brother-in-law, George “Jeter” Hina; sister-in-law, Rose Mary Babbs; father- and mother-in-law, Harvey and Helen Robinson; and a nephew, Danny Hina.

She was a longtime member of Morganfield First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school to 4-year-olds for more than 20 years. She and a local group of women would meet weekly to play the card game “Hand and Foot.” Brenda loved to host parties and was an excellent cook known for her chicken and dumplings, French toast, broccoli and cheddar soup, and sweet tea. There was a vacation to Hawaii and a favorite trip to Alaska. She loved to garden and excelled, evident by the zinnias that grow beside her home.

There were countless “MiMi Days” with the grandchildren where they picked the venue and the menu and, for many years, Brenda oversaw the Little Mr. and Miss contest at the Union County Fair. She had a special place for all babies. That same pureness, honesty and laughter one finds in a newborn was reflected in Brenda.

“Any baby in a stroller, she just couldn’t get enough of them,” said her longtime friend, Bethell Welborn Pritchett, who served as her maid of honor. “Anybody who has that amount of love for babies has to be a pure heart. Her whole life was an open book and she shared it with everyone. There’s no kinder, gentler soul than Brenda.”

A celebration of life service was held Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the First Baptist Church in Morganfield with the Rev. Jeff McMain officiating. Visitation was held Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield and until service time on Thursday at the church. Burial was in Odd Fellows Cemetery in Morganfield.

Memorial donations can be made in Brenda’s honor to AFTD, University of Kentucky Memory Disorders Clinic, UK Medical Center, 224 Charles T. Washington Bldg., 800 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40536 or God’s Little Lambs, 220 N. Morgan St., Morganfield, KY 42437.

Whitsell Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

Fred M. Hite (1943-2016)

Fred M. Hite

MORGANFIELD, Ky. – In a life that took him from the streets of Uniontown, Ky., to the jungles of Vietnam to towering construction projects along the Ohio River, and retirement days spent on the golf courses across the Southeastern United States, Fred Hite was as solid a man as the massive power plants he helped build, devoted as his love of family and favorite sports teams, and as strong as his legendary grip.

Frederick Maurice Hite, 72, of Morganfield, died Sunday, April 24, 2016, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Evansville, Ind.

Born Oct. 6, 1943, in Uniontown, the fifth child of Parvin and Bernadette Hite, he was named Frederick by the nuns of nearby St. Agnes Church in honor of Saint Frederick.

A 1961 graduate of St. Vincent Academy, Fred spent part of his early years working at his father’s gas station in Morganfield and later worked as a carry out/stock boy at the Sureway in Morganfield before a local judge offered the option of “go to jail or go into the Army.” As a member of the U.S. Army, Fred would spend part of the next four years along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border as part of the military’s communications surveillance team.  

Soon after returning from Vietnam, Fred was initiated in September 1967 into the Local Iron Workers 103, based in Evansville. During his time with the iron workers through the 1970s and ’80s, Fred worked on the construction of the St. Louis Arch and spent nine years as the assistant to the business manager. With a membership totaling 700 to 800 in a 40-county area over three states, Fred was involved in such construction projects as the Tennessee Valley Authority power plant in Paradise, Ky.; dams along the Ohio River in Uniontown, Newburgh, Ind., and Cannelton, Ind.; the Alcoa plant in Warrick County, Ind.; and the Anaconda smelter in Sebree, Ky.; as well as 18 power plants, including those in Sebree, Rockport, Ind., and Petersburg, Ind.

Fred was known as a master welder and one who “could weld anything but a broken heart and the crack of dawn.”

Fred also worked as a regional sales manager for CompuChem Laboratories.

He truly “bled blue” during basketball and football season, cheering on his beloved Kentucky Wildcats. That love was only rivaled in the spring by his devotion to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club. A history and military buff, he was also a fan of TV westerns and “true” country musicians like Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams.

In addition to his parents, Fred was also preceded in death by two brothers, Jerry and Ronald “Rock” Hite.

Survivors include two sons, Robbie Hite and wife Amy of Jackson, Tenn., and Ryan Hite of Dallas, Texas; two grandchildren, Tyler and Nathan Hite of Jackson; a brother Jim Hite and his wife Pat of Bullard, Texas; a sister Beverly Baczewski and her husband Victor of Summerfield, Fla.; and his companion of the past 15 years, Linda R. Banks of Morganfield, and her children Michael Banks, of Belmont, N.C., and Stacie Banks of Henderson, Ky.

A celebration of life service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 27, 2016, at Whitsell Funeral Home in Morganfield. The Rev. Jerry Manning will officiate. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. until service time Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will be in the West Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Hopkinsville, Ky. Memorials can be made to the American Heart Association.

H. Shane Jones (1944-2020)

Shane Jones

DENVER, NC – Born on the side of a West Virginia mountain on a cold November day just before the end of World War II, Shane Jones spent the next 75 years overcoming obstacles. He did this through an overwhelming desire to succeed in all he did – exemplified by a loving family that eventually included four grandchildren, a career that carried him from a Blue Ridge coal mining town to across the globe, and in the hundreds of friends and associates who simply knew him as Shane. 

He carried that can-do spirit, coupled with his generosity, quick wit and knowledge of numbers and people, with him until his final breath on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. 

Born Nov. 17, 1944, in Jenkinjones, amidst the rolling hills and coal fields near Bluefield, W.Va., Shane was the fifth of six children born to Clyde and Verda Jones. He was named Harry S. Jones by his father, a coal miner, in honor of Harry S. Truman, the U.S. senator who became president six months later. When asked what the “S” stood for, Clyde chose “Shane” in honor of the title character from the western novel, one of the few books in their small West Virginia home. It’s fitting that Shane was the name people called him as he and the gunslinger shared similar beliefs in loyalty, hard work, fearlessness and never shirking one’s responsibilities.

After graduating from Bramwell (W.Va.) High School in 1962, Shane, over the next five years, hitchhiked each way from his West Virginia home to Bowling Green, Ky., where he attended Bowling Green College of Commerce and Western Kentucky University. Balancing a full schedule of classes and working “every job known on campus,” Shane graduated from WKU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management.

It was during his time at WKU that Shane met Janice “Jan” White, a co-ed from the corn fields of western Kentucky. The two married on Aug. 4, 1968, and Shane and Jan remained devoted to one another for the next 51 years.

After graduating, Shane started his career in Louisville, Ky., with the accounting firm of Humphrey-Robinson. At the same time, he spent six years serving with the Kentucky Army National Guard.

After receiving his CPA certification, Shane joined Vermont American Corporation in 1970 where he served as manager of internal audits in their Louisville office. In 1986, he was named general manager of the Vermont American Tool Company Distribution Center in Lincolnton, NC, and he moved his family to their present home on Lake Norman. After Vermont American was purchased by the Bosch Group in 1989, Shane served as the director of distribution/packaging for the Robert Bosch Tool Corporation in Lincolnton. 

In his position, Shane traveled the globe. He was generous with his advice and with his mentoring. He recognized talents in people and invested in their career advancement and educational programs.

A longtime member of Denver United Methodist Church, Shane served on several leadership teams at the church over the past 35 years. He enjoyed boating, golfing, collecting and restoring classic cars, and University of Kentucky Wildcat basketball. He loved his Diet Pepsi, Lance Toasty peanut butter crackers, deviled eggs and Keebler Pecan Sandies cookies.

Yet, his real passion was in caring for his family, longtime friends, neighbors in the Westport Peninsula community and business associates. One of his most generous gifts was donating a kidney to his brother, Jerry.

Shane is survived by his wife, Janice “Jan” White Jones; a son, Darrell Shane Jones and his wife, Sandy, of Mooresville, NC, and their four children, Loralei, Micah, Tasman and Mireille Jones.

When Darrell was born in 1978, the song “You Light Up My Life” was popular and, ever since that day, Darrell was always the light in his father’s eyes. That light and love grew with the birth of each of his four grandchildren, who lovingly called Shane “Grumpy, but not in the grumpy sort of way.”

Other survivors include a sister, Columbia McDonough and her husband, Tom, of Tazewell, Va.; a brother, Allen Jones and his wife, Nancy, of Atlanta; a sister-in-law, Donna Jones, of Asheboro, NC; two brothers-in-law, David Baker, of Falls Mills, Va., and Jerry White and his wife, Elizabeth, of Morganfield, Ky.; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his mother and father, Shane was preceded in death by two brothers, Denver and Jerry Jones; a sister, Jane Baker; and his father- and mother-in-law, Barbee and Marie White.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

Due to Shane’s condition in recent years, Jan and Darrell wish to bring awareness to the brain disorder Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) through the Shane Jones NPH Memorial Fund.

Memorial donations can also be made to Helping Funds, c/o: Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 Highway 16 North, P.O. Box 661, Denver, NC 28037.

Warlick Funeral Home in Lincolnton, NC, is in charge of the arrangements.

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