Obituaries - March 16



Rocella Hardin

   Rocella Joan Hardin, 85, of Ashland, died peacefully surrounded by her family on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

   She was born February 26, 1936, in Fullerton, Kentucky, a daughter of the late Cecil Chester and Elizabeth Lee Fannin Hardin. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 52 years, James W. Hardin; son in law, Joe Schwamberger; great grandson, Boston; and a brother, Douglas Hardin.

   Rocella attended the Church of Christ in Westwood. She retired from King’s Daughters as a Pharmacy Tech.

   Those left to cherish her memory include daughters Christy Lynn Schwamberger of Portsmouth, OH, Debora Kay (Jim) Reeves of Ashland, Teresa Diane (Joe) Ross of Coal Grove, OH; sister Donna Mullens; six grandchildren, Rebecca, Joe and Dustin Schwamberger, Leesa Reeves, Leena “Nikki” Meade and Samantha Ross; and nine great grandchildren, Jaylen, Oliver, Liam, Braleigh, Remington, Sara, Rosalee, Isaac, Gabe and expecting twins, Saylor and Sloane.

   A celebration of Rocella’s life was held Wednesday, March 10, 2021, at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue with words of comfort provided by Chaplain Jimm Smedley. Burial followed in Siloam-Hardin Cemetery.

   To share a remembrance of Rocella or to express condolences to her family, please visit:


Flora Kay Unrue

   Kay Unrue, 83, of Russell, Kentucky, died peacefully Saturday morning March 13 following a long illness. 

   Kay was born Nov. 4, 1937 in Ashland, a daughter of the late Robert and Irene Boggs. She was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by brothers Bob and Roger, and sister Linda. Kay retired from the KY State Police Ashland Post 14. 

   She is survived by her husband of 64 years, James F. Unrue; sons Fred Unrue of Ashland, and Phil Unrue (Marty) of Greenwood, SC; grandchildren, James F. III, Savana, Matthew, Shanna, and Drew Unrue, and several great grandchildren. 

   Kay was a long time member of Second Freewill Baptist Church in South Ashland and pianist for 40+ yrs. She was a member of the Eastern Star, Redhatters, and Whirlaway Square Dance Clubs. 

   Funeral service were Monday, March 15 by Pastor James Lindsey at Preston Family Funeral Home. Burial was in the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast.


Raymond Dwight Davis

   Raymond Dwight Davis, 75, of Catlettsburg, KY passed away at the Hospice Care Center on March 13, 2021. He was born on May 11, 1945 in Ashland, KY to the late Howard Davis and Ruby Robinette Milem. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister Carolyn Ann Sparks.

   Raymond was a teacher in the Boyd County School system and taught Industrial Technology. He served in the U.S. National Guard and was of the Methodist faith.

   He is survived by his loving wife Patsy Howard Davis, his son Jon Robert Davis and wife Katie, and a brother Howard L. Davis and wife Nola all of Catlettsburg, KY.

   A graveside funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 1 p.m. at Bowling Cemetery in Boyd County and will be officiated by Greg White. Friends may make contributions in his memory to Community Hospice, 1480 Carter Avenue, Ashland, KY. 41101. Online condolences may be made to


Mona A. Donegan Walker (Bonnie)

   Mona A. Donegan Walker passed away Friday, March 12 at her home in Naples, Kentucky. She was a former resident of Nitro, WVA and the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary Walters Donegan. 

   Mona was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by sons Todd and Gregory Walker, and daughter, Heather Estep. She was also preceded in death by siblings Joseph Donegan, Nell Sibley, Mary Wright, Carol Bohn, Elizabeth Armstrong, and Delores Donegan.

   Surviving include her husband, Gary Walker of Naples; sons Timothy Walker (Dale) of Richmond, KY; Patrick Walker (Kathy) of Naples and Nathan (Shuang) of Naples; daughters Carrie Ruff of Naples and Megan McGuire (Gary) of Hanging Rock, Ohio, 18 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. 

   Visitation will be Tuesday, March 16 from 10:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. at Preston Family Funeral Home. A Mass of the Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Holy Family Church by Father Andrew Garner.


Garis Lawson Pruitt

   Garis Lawson Pruitt, 78, of Ashland, passed away Sunday, March 07, 2021 at Community Hospice in Ashland.

   Garis was born October 02,1942 in Chester, Pennsylvania to the late Carl Winchester and Frances Lawson Pruitt.

   In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Gerald, Ralph and Carl “Pete” Pruitt.

   Garis proudly served his country on the aircraft carrier Enterprise in the US Navy. After his military service, he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Kentucky; then went on to graduate from the UK with his Juris Doctorate. Garis devoted many years to being a public servant in the legal profession. He was a trial lawyer who strongly believed in championing the legal battles of the underdog. He was a member of many legal organizations and obtained his Board Certification in Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy from the National Board of Civil Pretrial Practice Advocacy. He was loved by all dogs and children along with his family, friends and clients. He was also a member of the Fairview Baptist Church.

   Garis leaves behind his loving wife of 58 years, Nancy Salyers Pruitt; his children, Lisa Dawn Pruitt of Cincinnati, Ian Winchester Lawson Pruitt (Cindy Lavender Pruitt) of Columbus, OH and Heather Leigh Pruitt Jebb (Richard Jebb) of Bloomington, IL; his two fur babies Gracie and Molly; four sisters, Gail Balesky, Sharon Deal, Barbara Evans, and Rosemary Newsome; five grandchildren, Chloe Thorner, Colin Pruitt, Cameron Pruitt, Camille Thorner, and Cooper Jebb, along with a host of extended family and friends.

   Funeral services were conducted March 11, 2021 at Caniff Funeral Home with military services conducted by Kenova American Legion Post #93.

   Condolences may be left at In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Boyd County Senior Center 3015 Louisa Rd, Catlettsburg, KY 41129 or Community Hospice 2330 Pollard Rd, Ashland, KY 41101.


Judith Ann Newsome

   Judy Newsome, 76, of Ashland, died peacefully Tuesday, March 9, at her home while under hospice care. 

   Judy was born April 26, 1944 in Ashland, a daughter of the late Edward and Carma McKnight May. She was a member of the Gospel Light Baptist Church.  

   Judy was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by her husband; David Newsome, and a daughter, Lynn Hughes. Surviving include two sons: Michael (Dianna) Newsome of Catlettsburg; Jeff (Kathy) Newsome of Summit; three brothers: Brooks Ed, Don, and Ronnie May; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 

   Funeral services were Friday, March 12 at Gospel Light Baptist Church by Pastor Jason Porter. Burial was in Rose Hill Burial Park. Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.


Gregory Alan Qualls, Sr.

   Gregory Alan Qualls, Sr. 68, of Ashland, passed away Saturday, March 13. Greg was born September 23, 1952 in Kenova, WV, a son of the late James, Sr., and Betty Smeltzer Qualls. In addition to his parents, Greg was preceded in death by his brother James Qualls.

   Greg was a graduate of Paul G. Blazer High School and was on the rifle team with the ROTC. He was a member and Golden Eagle of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 2329 and was a Kentucky Colonel.

   Greg loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He also loved gardening in his vegetable garden. Greg worked in Florida with the weed control division for several years. He also worked in the family owned business of Qualls & Sons Heating and Air Conditioning.

   Those left to cherish his memory include his longtime companion Theresa Ferguson of Ashland and her children Becky Ferguson of Ashland and Marty (Latrisha) Ferguson of Ashland. Additional survivors include his brothers Mike (Charlene) Qualls, Tim (Linda) Qualls, sisters Carmen (Tony) “Sis” Hankins, Kimberly (Billie Joe) Jones, his son Alan Qualls, granddaughter Kirsten Barrett, a sister-in-law Penny Qualls, several nieces, nephews and extended family and good friends.

   Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at the Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel by Paul Badgett. Burial will follow in the Highland Memorial Gardens in South Point. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. till service time Wednesday at the funeral home.

   In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Community Hospice in Greg’s honor. Greg was also an organ donor, offering recipients a second chance at life through donation.

   To share a memory of Greg, view his funeral service through live streaming, or to express a condolence to his family, please visit


Ella Marie Suttles

   Ella Marie Suttles, 74, of Ashland, wife of Norris Suttles, died Tuesday morning, March 9, at her home while under hospice care. 

   Ella was born September 27, 1946 in Ashland, a daughter of the late Ralph and Belle Adams Barker. She was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by a brother, John Barker, and sister Mary Crabtree. 

   Surviving, in addition to her husband, include three daughters: Jenny (David) Nunley, Angela Suttles, and Annie Evans, all of Ashland; three sons: David Evans of Ashland, Chris Evans of Indiana, Charlie Evans of Ashland; three brothers: Sam, Bill, and Ralph Barker, Jr.; three sisters: Lois Sloan. Linda Woods, and Brenda Moore, and a special grandson, Sidney Hatfield. 

   A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.


Kitty Kouns

   Kitty Fraley Kouns, 91, of Ashland, passed away Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Best Care in Wheelersburg, OH. Kitty was born August 19, 1929 in Ashland, a daughter of the late Raymond L. Sr., and Sarah Tackett Fraley. In addition to her parents, Kitty was preceded in death by her brother Raymond Fraley, Jr. and her sisters Brenda Fraley Howard, Roberta Tipton and Betty Jarvis.

   Kitty was a longtime member of the South Ashland United Methodist Church. Kitty worked 23 years at the former National Mine Services in Wurtland as an executive secretary and was a demonstrator with Sam’s Club in South Point for many years.

   Those left to cherish her memory include her daughter Vicky L. Myers of South Point, OH, her son Rick G. Kouns and wife Sue of Ashland, her grandchildren Yetta (Rance) Bauer, Eric Myers, Darrick Kouns, her great grandchildren Rayna Bauer, Zane Bauer, Chloe Kouns and a host of extended family and friends.

   Graveside services were held, March 11, 2021 at the Golden Oaks Memorial Gardens in Ashland by Keith Tipton. 

   Steen Funeral Home in Ashland is assisting the family with arrangements. To share a memory of Kitty or to express a condolence to her family, visit


David L. May

   David L. May, age 67, of Lexington, KY was called to his heavenly home on Friday, March 12, 2021.

   David was born on May 7, 1953 in Paintsville, KY to James F. and Vilma G. (Stamper) May. David was a 1971 graduate of Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, where he met his high school sweetheart.

   He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Patricia May, son James D. May (LeeAnn) of Lexington, daughter Sarah K. May (Amanda) of Maumelle, AR, grandchildren Davin K. May and Emma G. May of Maumelle, Kayla Eads, Logan and Audrey Jordan of Lexington, KY, and a host of family and friends. We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the ICU staff at Baptist Health in Lexington, KY for their generous and compassionate nursing care.

   Davis was employed by Ashland Oil, Inc., and retired from Marathon Petroleum in Catlettsburg as a Process Specialist. He was a huge University of Kentucky sports and golf enthusiast.

   Funeral services were held Monday, March 15, 2021 at the Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel.

   Donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

   To share a condolence with the family, please visit


James Marion Trimble

   James M. Trimble, 81, of Ashland, husband of Sara Littleton Trimble, died March 11. 

   Jim was born November 24, 1939 in Elliott County, a son of the late Sherman and Mary Jane Trimble.  He was retired from AK Steel and was a veteran of the US Marine Corps.  Jim was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by a sister, Jonnie Back. 

   Surviving, in addition to his wife, include a son, David Trimble of Ashland; daughter Amanda Short and husband John, of Ashland, and two sisters: Blondia Gates of Ashland, and Helen Bradford of Texas. 

   A graveside service will be Wednesday, March 17, at 1 p.m. at Golden Oaks Memorial Gardens by Pastor Jim Byrd.  

   Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.