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Charmie Brooks

Charmie Brooks, 98, of Ironton, passed away Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Ironton. She was the widow of Robert H. Brooks.

Charmie lived up to her name through the good times and bad times. Loved by everyone who knew her, “Corky” was never known to complain or say anything bad about others. She loved people, was always happy, positive and kind. She was also the life of the party. Even in her 90s, she was the youngest person in the room and on the dance floor. She loved to travel, and took numerous trips with the Eagles to Myrtle Beach where she was known for her great margaritas. She visited her son, Bob, in California many times, traveled to Mexico and Hawaii and on two occasions traveled to Europe; once with her son, Bob, on a five-week road trip to Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, France and Switzerland.

Her grandson, Rigel, and her ex-daughter-in-law, Olga Vásquez, joined them for part of the trip. On a later occasion, she accompanied Olga to Denmark and Sweden. But, most of all, she cherished her sons, Bob and Rick, and her grandson, Rigel. She was especially close to Rick, with whom she shared a home in Ironton for many years.

Charmie Cordelia Cowan was born in Smith County, Va., on Feb. 24, 1915, to George and Gracie Cowan. Her mother died when she was 5, and her stepmother, Alma, raised her and her brother, Earl.  She graduated from Salem High School in 1932, but missed the ceremonies due to an appendectomy.  She enrolled in nursing school at Jefferson Hospital and after graduation worked at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md.  In June 1939, she married Robert H. Brooks of Roanoke, Va., and moved to Ironton on Sept. 1.

In Ironton, she was employed at Lawrence County General Hospital where she worked in many areas of the hospital including the OB-GYN ward, the emergency room and the operating room. Later she worked as a nurse for Dr. Newton Spears and as the Lawrence County TB nurse. Then she worked 20 years as a caseworker and supervisor with the county welfare department. When she retired from the welfare department, she worked for Jo-Linn’s Nursing Home until 1999, retiring two months short of her 85th birthday.

Throughout her life Charmie always found time to spend with sick and dying friends and do volunteer work. She worked with the 648 Mental Health Board, the bloodmobile and children’s services, and in 1983 she was named the Citizen of the Year by the Community Betterment Club and was recognized by the Ohio Senate and the U.S. Congress for her service.

Her sons, Bob and Rick; her grandson, Rigel; her great-granddaughter, Xochi; her nephews, George and Earl Cowan; and her nieces Beatrice Skelley and Charmee Beauclaire survive her.  Her extended family includes Olga Vásquez and the families of Edna Brown and Tammy Skaggs, her longtime caregivers.

Funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Tracy Brammer-Monroe Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Woodland Cemetery. Friends may call the funeral home from 6 to 9 p.m. today.

Sally French 

Sally Lee French, 75, of Midland, Mich., formerly of Ironton, passed away Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at Tender Care Nursing Facility in Midland, Mich. The Ironton native was born April 15, 1938, the daughter of the late Arthur H. and Alice Andrews Sagar. Her husband, Kenneth L. French, preceded her in death.

Mrs. French was a graduate of Ironton High School and was a retired nurse’s aide from the Lawrence County General Hospital. She was a member of Central Christian Church in Ironton. She enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and her many friends throughout the years. She also was an avid lover of animals.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Kimberly S. Sartain; and a granddaughter, Elizabeth Gulley

She is survived by two sons, James A. (Tracy) Payne Sr., of Midland, Mich.; and John M. (Nancy) Payne, of Ironton; a sister, Sue (Larry) Ferguson, of Columbus; six grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Friday at Phillips Funeral Home in Ironton with pastor Jim Payne, her son, officiating. Burial will follow in Woodland Cemetery and visitation will be noon Friday until the time of the service at the funeral home. Anyone who would like to give a memorial gift can be designated to Heartland Hospice in Midland, Mich. To offer condolences to the family, please visit www.phillipsfuneralhome.net.