Honoring those who passed
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 5, 2022
2021 saw several notable passings
Lawrence County and the Tri-State said farewell to many people in the past year who were known for their contributions to the region and beyond. They came from all walks of life and contributed greatly to the tapestry and history of our community.
Here some of the notable names who passed:
Kenneth Luke Everhart
The former Lawrence Township clerk and trustee for 32 years died Dec. 31. 2020 at age 78. He was a long-time member secretary of the Lawrence Township Volunteer Fire Department and president of the Mamre Cemetery Board.
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Dr. Betty Jane Cleckley
Marshall University’s vice president of multicultural affairs, who served at the school for 31 years in multiple positions, died on Jan. 8. She was 89.
A 45-year veteran of Ironton’s police department, who served as chief, died Jan. 12 at age 80. He was praised for his leadership of the department, as well as charitable work with groups such as the El Hasa Shriners.
A Crown City village council member, member of the Crown City Volunteer Fire Department and Guyan Township trustee. He died at age 82 on Jan. 12.
The former Symmes Valley School teacher, principal, coach and drivers education instructor died Feb. 2 at age 78.
Ray “Moose” Dutey
A staple of Lawrence County public service, who spent six decades working in the courthouse as both county recorder and auditor, served as Coal Grove’s mayor and a village council member and was a longtime announcer for Dawson-Bryant athletics, and died on Sept. 28 at age 91.
The longtime Russell, Kentucky, head football coach, whose teams won two Kentucky state football championships, died Feb. 5 at age 82.
One of the oldest residents in the county, the retired miner was an avid fan of Marshall and Fairland sports and was a regular presence at games. He died Feb. 15 at age 100, just over a month after residents of Proctorville celebrated his centennial with a parade.
A member of the Ashland 3 Arts Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution chapter in Ironton, she served as treasurer and a Sunday School teacher at Coal Grove Memorial United Methodist Church and was a verified Mayflower descendent. She died on Feb. 18.
The Ironton ‘Fighting’ Tigers legend and Ohio State University Buckeyes running back died Feb. 26 at age 45. In high school, he was a stand-out student and athlete in football, track and basketball and was inducted into the Ironton Athletic Hall of Fame.
A well known and much-loved local photographer, who was a fixture at school sporting events and other public activities, he died on March 4 at age 62. Sanborn’s work appeared on his website, Southern Ohio Sports, as well as in The Ironton Tribune for decades.
A U.S. Army veteran and 43-year member of the Lawrence County Veterans Commission, he served as a Rome Township trustee for 33 years. An advocate for those who served, he was successful in getting the lawn of the Lawrence County Courthouse renamed as Veterans Square. He died March 26 at age 91.
The Ironton resident was a former assistant vice president of commercial lending for First National Bank treasurer of St. Joe Athletic Boosters, as well as a scholar of local history and shared stories of his family’s long business record in the city with The Ironton Tribune. He died April 10 at age 77.
Dr. Robert Barnett Jr.
Practicing family dentistry in Ironton for 34 years, he also contributed to his community through groups such as the Rotary Club and El Hasa Shriners. He died May 4 at age 65.
The right tackle for the Ironton Fighting Tigers’ 1989 Division III State Football Championship team and offensive lineman for the Marshall Thundering Herd’s 1992 NCAA Division I-AA Football Championship team died June 4 at age 49.
Mary Lee Kennedy
A former Ironton council member, retired legal assistant for the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and member of the county’s Republican Central Committee, she died July 8 at age 81.
Paul Wayne Porter Jr.
An Ironton native and U.S. Marine veteran who went college at Florida State University, where he played football and graduated with a degree in psychology, he spent much of his professional life serving others, first as a counselor working with teenagers and later as a counselor for adults struggling with addiction. He died July 20 at age 81.
Lawrence Rudmann Sr.
An Ironton man who served in the Normandy landing of World War II died July 21 at age 98. A member of the 82nd Airborne, he was a paratrooper in Nazi-occupied France during the Allied landing and spent time as a POW there.
The 18th president of Ohio University, who led the school from 1975-1994, a key period for the development of its southern campus in Ironton, died July 27 at age 91 in Athens.
The co-owner of Hillbilly Hot Dogs died July 29 at age 75. Along with his wife, Sharie, he founded the colorful roadside Lesage, West Virginia restaurant in 1999, which, at one point, had multiple locations and was featured on national media, such as The Food Network.
James Bennett Jr.
A public school teacher for 42 years at Dawson-Bryant High School, Portsmouth West High School and Myrtle Beach High School, he was a baseball and weightlifting coach and an accomplished pitcher for Dawson-Bryant High School and Rio Grande College. He was also an avid weightlifter and held national records. He died Aug. 7 at age 66.
Greenup students were devastated when the popular assistant football coach and and health teacher died from COVID-19 on Aug. 25. At age 49.
A former Lawrence County chief deputy auditor, she was secretary for the Lawrence County Commissioners office, clerk for the Village of Coal Grove and a teacher for Dawson-Bryant school. She died Feb. 4 at age 83.
The Korean War veteran and retired Armco equipment operator served as the honorary grand marshal of the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day parade in 2014 and was known for being active in his community. He died Oct. 13 at age 92.
Tributes were paid to a life of service when he died on Nov. 15 at age 75. A disabled Vietnam veteran, he taught at Open Door Schools, where he started 4-H, the Symmes Valley School District and Hannon Trace Elementary, where he coached basketball and volleyball. He also coached Symmes Valley Little League, Senior League and Buddy Basketball, was a volunteer firefighter and first responder and a member of Symmes Valley Veteran’s Posts and Disabled Veterans of Ironton.
The former Ashland, Kentucky resident, who was honored as the Teacher of the Year for the State of Kentucky in 1980 and Principal of the Year for the state in 1997, died on Nov. 16 at age 84.