Obituaries - February 2



Berna Dean Compston

   Berna Dean Compston, 89, of Ashland, KY, passed away on Monday, January 25, 2021, at Kingsbrook Life Care Center in Ashland, KY.

   Mrs. Compston was born May 16, 1931, in Wurtland, KY, to the late Fred and Ada Marie Heaberlin Compston.

   In addition to her parents, Berna Dean was preceded in death by her daughter, Cynthia Dean Huffman; two brothers, Delbert and Fredrick Compston, and a sister, Wilma Dickens.

   Berna Dean worked in the administrative department at Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Ashland. She loved attending Saturday meetings at the local Senior Citizens’ building and was a member of Blackburn Avenue Baptist Church.

   Mrs. Compston is survived by her loving husband, Bankie Gene Howard of Ashland, KY; two grandchildren, Christopher Dale (Jerrie Lynn) Utz of McKee, KY and Lisa Marie Blake of Richmond, KY; seven great-grandchildren: Noah J. Huffman, Naomi Grace Mullins, Olivia Caryn Mullins, Marlee Marie Rucker, Moses Dean Blake, Jacob Dale Utz, and Angela Apking; a sister, Reva Ruthruff of Covington, KY.

   A graveside service will be held at Heaberlin Cemetery in Wurtland, KY, with Pastor Ron Riley officiating.

   The family has entrusted Bailey Family Funeral Home in Flatwoods, KY with the arrangements. Condolences can be made at


Kenneth Chapman Morriss

   Kenneth Chapman Morriss, 96, of Ashland, KY passed away Saturday, January 23, 2021 at Trinity Station in Flatwoods, following an extended illness.

   Kenneth was born April 30, 1924 in Hinton, WV to the late Richard Macfarlane and Bessie Rogers Morriss.

   Kenneth began work on the C&O Railroad at 17 years old as a summer employee on the bridge and building force in Hinton. A few months later he began service with the Army Air Force during World War II. After his discharge, he returned to work for the C&O Railroad (later CSX Transportation) where he retired as Executive Vice President of Transportation ands Chief Operating Officer after 44 years of service.

   In addition to his parents, Kenneth was preceded in death by his first wife Theodocia Plaster Morriss and his second wife, Virginia Bush Morriss; one brother, Robert Fielding Morriss and one sister, Elizabeth Carrington Morriss.

   Survivors include two sons, Robert Morriss of Silver Spring, MD and Raymond Morriss (Brenda) of Cumberland, MD; a step-daughter, Leslie Phillips (Mark) of York, PA; two grandchildren, Regina Christiansen (Sam) and Katherine Phillips; along with a host of extended family and friends.

   Services will be private with burial in Bellefonte Memorial Gardens. A public memorial service will be held at a later date. Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood has been entrusted with the services.

   Online condolences may be left at


Deloris Faye  Depriest

   Deloris Faye  Depriest, 86, of Ironton, passed away Tuesday, January 26, 2021 at her residence.

   She was born June 11, 1934, in Ironton, OH, a daughter of the late Clarence and Mary Jaynes Koster. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Donald Depriest in 2004; a son in law, Johnny Cochran; and several siblings.

   Survivors include sons, Randy (Rosemary) Depriest, and Steve (Beth) Mineer; daughters, Mary Jane (Robert) Castle and Kathy Ann Cochran; sisters, Karen (Fred) Knipp, Betty Washburn, Stephana Jenkins, and Joyce (Kenny) Lawson; grandchildren, Becky (Steve) Tucker, Randy Lee Depriest, Jr.; and Allison Mineer; four great grandchildren, Tyler, Tanner and Brady Depriest and Savannah Tucker.

   A graveside service was held Thursday, January 28, 2021 at Rose Hill Burial Park.

   Arrangements have been entrusted to Steen Funeral Homes. 

   To share a remembrance of Deloris or to express a condolence to her family, visit


Ronald Theodore Litteral 

   Ronald Theodore Litteral, 80, of Ashland, passed away, Wednesday January 27, 2021 at Kings Daughter’s Medical Center following a brief illness.

   Ron was born July 24, 1940 in Ashland, KY to the late Kennia and Katherine Jaynes Litteral.

   He was a retired electrician with AK Steel and was a member of Steelworkers Local #1865.

   Ron leaves behind his loving wife of 61 years, Carolyn Lemaster Litteral of Ashland; one son, Gregory Bryan Litteral of Ashland; one daughter, Susan Lynn Hatten of Coal Grove, OH; five grandchildren, two of which they raised, Korey Ward and Kasey Ward, both of Ashland.

   Graveside services were conducted Friday, January 29, 2021 at Bellefonte Memorial Gardens in Flatwoods with Chaplain Jimm Smedley officiating.

   Caniff Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.


Karen Sue Baker

   Mrs. Karen S. Baker, 77, of Ashland, Ky, formerly of Huntington, WV, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, January 23, 2021.  She passed at home after a brief illness, with her loving hus-band of 59 years, James H. (Doc) Baker, and family by her side. 

   Karen was born on October 3, 1943, in Huntington, WV.  She was preceded in death by her parents Alton & Anna Lee Perry of Huntington, WV, and brother Roger Perry (Beverlee) of Chattanooga, TN.  She leaves behind her husband, Doc, son, Jay (Margaret) Baker, daughter, Rhon-da (David) Cullop, daughter Kelly Thomas, grandchildren including Nick (Ashley) Thomas, Heath (Brittany) Thomas, JD Cullop, Sydney (Logan) Salow, Jacob Baker, Carley Cullop; great-grandchildren; Terell, Jordan, Dajyn and Lincoln and a host of other family and friends. 

   Karen was a claims examiner at the Veteran’s Administration Regional Office in Huntington, WV for 41 years, retiring in 2007. She was a member of Wildwood Church of God, where she served in the children’s ministry. Her favorite role was Nana to her grandchildren, whom she traveled to watch play sports in Huntington, Ashland, and Boyd Co.

   Funeral services were held Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at the Wildwood Church of God in Ashland. Pastor Steve Harris officiated. Burial was at Woodmere Memorial Park in Huntington, WV.

   In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Karen’s memory to Community Hospice, 1480 Carter Avenue, Ashland, KY 41101

   To share a memory of Karen, or to leave a condolence for the family, please visit


Betty L. Smith

   Betty Lou Smith, 90, a lifelong resident of Boyd County has passed away. Betty was born February 23, 1930 in Boyd County, a daughter of the late Leonard and Gladys George Cooksey. In addition to her parents, Betty was also preceded in death by her son Barry Smith, brothers George, Ralph, Howard and Harold Cooksey, her sister Wilma Sawyer, great granddaughter Emmersyn Leigh Smith, and son-in laws Phil Derifield and Dave Neiffer.

   Betty was a member of the Cannonsburg Trinity United Methodist Church. She was active in the Food Pantry Ministry and with the United Methodist Women. Betty was a 1948 graduate of Boyd County High School. She was a past member of the Rush lodge of the Eastern Star and of the Boyd County Homemakers. Betty loved to work in the garden. She always had a harvest of fresh vegetables and beautiful roses. Her canned green beans were the best. Betty was also a supporter of her grandchildren’s sporting and dance events. She will be deeply and sadly missed by her loving family.

   Those left to cherish her memory include her husband of 67 years Bobby Smith of Boyd County, daughters Becky Derifield, Beverly Neiffer, grandson Dustin (Ashleigh) Smith, great granddaughters Lilian Smith, Norah Kate Smith, daughter-in-law Cynthia Smith, nephew Keith (Sandy) Cooksey and a host of extended family and good friends.

   Funeral services were Friday, January 29, 2021 at the Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel by Pastor Bruce Lee. Burial was in Rose Hill Burial Park in Ashland.

   In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Betty’s memory to the Food Pantry of the Cannonsburg Trinity United Methodist Church, 11620 Midland Trail Road, Ashland, KY 41102

   To share a memory of Betty or to leave a condolence to the family, please visit


Patrick Wesley Mayo

   Patrick Mayo, 32, of Westwood, Kentucky, died Tuesday, January 26, in UK Medical Center, following a short illness.  

   Patrick was born November 29, 1988 in Ashland, a son of Rita Conn Mayo of Westwood and Michael Mayo of Westwood.  

   He was a 2007 graduate of Boyd County High and was employed with Clark’s Pump-n-Shop in Westwood. Patrick was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing. 

   He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Wesley and Gaynelle Davidson Conn, and paternal grandmother, Betty J. Ison. 

   Surviving, in addition to his parents, include a brother, Michael A. Mayo and wife Alyssa, of Cynthiana, Kentucky; a sister, Sonya Danielle Mayo of Westwood, and a nephew, Abel James Mayo. 

   Funeral services were Saturday, January 30 by Brother Jim Smedley at Preston Family Funeral Home. Burial was in the Ashland Cemetery. 


Patricia Ann Mays

   Patricia Ann Mays, 72, of Ashland, passed away as a result of Covid-19 on Wednesday, January 27, 2021.

   She was born April 26, 1948, in Pittsburgh, PA, a daughter of the late Albert and Gertrude Denk Zgainer.

   Patti retired following a long career with AK Steel and enjoyed spending summers at Dreamland Pool with friends.

   Those left to cherish her memory include her loving husband, Joey Brian Mays; step sons, Joey Brian Mays II, Jason Earl (Tara) Mays and Jeremy Mays; sisters, Sharon (Larry) Rees and Becky (Mike) Crews; sister in law, Brenda (Lawrence) Keating; brother in law, Robert Mays; grandchildren; Landry, Brycen and Carlie Mays; nieces, Megan (Nick) Catalogna, Sarah (Tyler) Smith and Jennifer Mays; nephews, Donald Alan (Jessica) Rees, Larry Keating, Shannon Mays, Greg Mays and Jonathan Mays; great nieces and nephews, Gabrielle and Isabel Catalogna, Laiken Keating, Vanessa, David, Jared and Bridget Smith.

   The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, February 2, 2021 with words of comfort provided by Rev. Paula Sergent. Burial will follow in Forest Lawn Cemetery.

   To express a condolence, visit


Paulina Christine Kinney Hamilton 

   Paulina Christine Kinney Hamilton, 64, of Ashland, passed away on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

   She was born June 20, 1956, in Ashland, Kentucky, to the late William Douglas and Christine Henley Kinney.

   Paulina was a graduate of Paul G. Blazer High School. She was a member of Ashland Baptist Church; an avid UK fan; and loved her animals immensely.

   Survivors include her daughter, Shavonna Kinney-Johnson and husband, Jeffrey; her partner of 15 years, Joawan Ellis; two beloved grandchildren, Jalen Douglas Hamilton and Gabriel William Johnson; half-brother, Al Blake and a half-sister, Donna Burris. 

   A celebration of Paulina’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, February 4, 2021, at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel. 

   To share a remembrance of Paulina or to extend a condolence to her family, please visit:


Michael Keith Kifer

   Michael Keith Kifer passed away on January 28, 2021. Mike was born and raised in Monaca, PA to the late Owen and Norma Kifer. He was a brother to Doc and Dean, and nephew to Wilda Knisely (Iames) and the late Alton Iames. For over 30 years, he made trips to visit the family farm in Bedford, PA. 

   Mike was transferred with Ashland Oil in 1985. For over 33 years, he literally worked night and day at the refinery in the “dubbs” unit as an operator and shift foreman. 

   He attended Advance United Methodist Church in Flatwoods, and was a beloved member of the Anchor class. 

   His true passion was being with his two children, Bradley and Allison. Whether it be the driveway basketball court, a school field trip, or coaching a soccer game, you could count on Mike being there with his kids. 

   He is survived by brothers Veryl “Doc” Kifer (Betty) and Dean Kifer (Joyce), a son Bradley Kifer (Courtney) and daughter Allison Avsar (Cihangir), grandchildren Quinn Michael and Silas Brill Kifer and Musa Michael and Reyhan Everett Avsar, an aunt Wilda Knisely (Harold), god-daughter Hilary O’Toole and extended family.

   Visitation will be Friday from 1-3 p.m. with a service following at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel.