Obituaries - April 6



Carol Sue Baker 

   Carol Sue Baker, 80, of Ashland, died peacefully, at St. Mary’s Medical Center on Sunday, March 28, 2021.

   She was born November 20, 1946, in Delbarton, West Virginia, a daughter of the late James E. and Mabel Carey Blevins. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 44 years, Arthur Eugene “Gene” Baker in 2006.

   Carol retired from the Boyd County School System following a 30 plus year career as a science teacher. She understood that when you teach science you are teaching life skills because science is everywhere. She taught her students to gather resources, collaborate with others, schedule their time wisely and most of all consider an alternative plan for improvement. She instilled creativity, curiosity and confidence. Her legacy will continue to live on in the countless lives she’s touched.

   Those left to cherish her memory include three sons, James William “Bill” (Nadine) Baker of Ashland, Wesley (Melissa) Baker of Goshen, KY, and Jeffrey Baker of Ashland; daughter, Theresa (Steven) Porter of Catlettsburg; brother, James Ronald (Nancy) Blevins of Montgomery, WV; sister, Robertha Ann Lester of Lenexa, KA; grandchildren, Andrew Porter, Sarah Baker Perkins, Mikayla Baker, Heath Baker, Myriah Porter Albrecht, Brennan Baker, Arden Baker and Nicole Baker; two great grandchildren, Jada Porter and Levi Baker; and a host of extended family members and dear friends.

   Visitation was Saturday, April 3, 2021, at Steen Funeral Home 13th Street Chapel.

Because of Carol’s love of education, the family requests that in lieu of any flowers, contributions in Carol’s memory may be made to Brad Elliott Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Commercial Bank, Main Street, Grayson, KY, 41143.

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


Dale Lewis

   Dale E. Lewis, 86, of Ashland, Kentucky, died peacefully Saturday morning, February 3, at his home. 

   Dale was born April 11, 1934 in Ohio, a son of the late Clella and Sylvia Hamm Lewis. He was a retired sales clerk with Sears. Dale was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by his wife, Marguerite Browning Lewis. 

   Surviving include three daughters: Deidre James and husband Bill, of Ashland; Cheryl Starkey and husband John, of Ashland; and Tami Whitt of Ashland; five grandchildren: Joe Whitt, Jeremy Whitt, Becki James, Tammy Fennimore, Katie Sammons, and 12 great grandchildren. 

   A private entombment will be at Rose Hill Burial Park.  Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.


Robert M. Conn

   Robert Matthew Conn, 49, of Ashland, went Home to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 1, 2021, at his residence.

   He was born September 1, 1971, in Ashland, Kentucky. He was preceded in death by his parents, James E. Conn in 1996, Annabel Peters Conn in 2011. He was also preceded in death by a sister, Laura Conn Blackard in 1990; and a brother, James A. Conn in 2019.

   Rob was a 1989 graduate of Paul Blazer High School and graduated from Morehead State University. He was a lifetime member of Centenary United Methodist Church where he was a longstanding board member and served in various other capacities. He served on the board of Hillcrest-Bruce Mission and was a proud member of the Emmaus Community. Rob was a devout Christian and was happiest when he was at church. He will long be remembered for his infectious smile and loving personality.

   Those left to cherish his memory include his sister, Judy A. Conn of Ashland; brother, John A. (Cynthia) Conn of Danville; nephews, Christopher A. Blackard, Blake Edwin Traylor, Spencer Allen Conn, Ethan S. Rucker and Eli Roush; and nieces, Audra Gabriella Conn, Abigail Roush and Emily Qualls Barney; great nephews, Easton and Elliot Barney; great niece, Zoey Barney; and chosen sisters, Beth Qualls and Martha Rucker.

   A celebration of Rob’s life will begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 8, 2021, at Centenary United Methodist Church with Rev. John Carwell Officiating.

   Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday, at the church.

   In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Centenary United Methodist Church, 2901 Winchester Avenue, Ashland, KY, 41101; or to Hillcrest-Bruce Mission, 1819 Eloise St, Ashland, KY, 41101.

   To share a memory of Rob or to express condolences to his family, please visit:


Sydney A. Wright 

   Sydney A. Wright, son of the late Evelyn Nichols Wright and Everett Wright, passed away March 31, 2021 at Hospice in Ashland, Kentucky.

   He is survived by his loving wife Genevieve (Genny) Wright and special nephew Sean McDowell of Kansas.

   He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Cannonsburg. Upon Mr. Wright's request, there will be no services.


Cathern Sanchez

   Cathern Nikolov Sanchez, 60, of Ashland, Kentucky, died Saturday morning, April 3, in Community Hospice Care Center. 

   Cathern was born February 24, 1961 in Ironton, Ohio, a daughter of the late Carl and Shelba Daniels Larsen.  

   She is survived by her husband, Jeffrey ‘Bodene’ Mayse of Ashland; son Jason Nikolov of Ashland; and two daughters: Myria Kitts of South Point, Ohio, and Veronica Nikolov of Ashland. She is also survived by six grandchildren and three brothers: Steve Larsen, Gary Larsen, and Danny Larsen.  

   Arrangements are pending at Preston Family Funeral Home.


Mary Ann Whetsel

   Mary Ann Holbrook Brownson Whetsel, 71, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky, died Friday, March 26 at her residence. 

   She was born July 19, 1949 in Kenova, West Virginia, a daughter of the late Arvel and Betty Robinette Holbrook. She was preceded in death, in addition to her parents, by her grandparents, Calvin and Minnie Holbrook and Ernest and Lillian Robinette, and nephew Steven Holbrook. 

   Mary was a 1967 graduate of Boyd County High School, was a former employee of Ashland Oil and a 27 year employee with Marshall Health. She was a member of Christ Temple Church in Huntington, West Virginia. 

   Surviving include her son, Todd Robert Brownson; sisters Carolyn Bowling and husband Gary, and Brenda Wheeler and husband Burf; and brother Gary Holbrook and wife Margaret. 

   She was loved by many nieces, nephews, and cousins and will be dearly missed by all. Graveside services were Thursday, April 1 at Golden Oaks Memorial Gardens. Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.


Katherine Mary Bozora Staten 

   Katherine Mary Bozora Staten, aged 79, of Russell, KY passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, April 2, 2021. She was born February 28, 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the late Joseph and Dorothy Hayett Bozora. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by two brothers Joseph Bozora and Michael Schoen, and one sister Patricia Bozoara.

   Katie was a fierce, loving, and protective wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and aunt. Her family always was her first priority. She was a loving and kind woman, whose home and arms were open to all. She loved her pets and all animals with the same passion. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends and always had a loving and war hug for everyone.

   Katie had a loving marriage with her husband John for 43 years. They loved to laugh, travel, and just spend time with their children and grandchildren.

   Katie is survived by her loving husband John Harper Staten; one son Tom Riley (Tonya) of Clinton Township, MI; four daughters, Cheryl O’Connor (Joe of Chestefield, MI, Carol Neal (Jeff) of Austin, TX, Elizabeth Flachsmann (Jim) of Hamburg, MI and Mistye Fenner (Jason) of Macomb, MI; one sister Geraldine George of Palm Springs, CA; 16 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; along with a host of extended family and friends.

   Funeral services will be 12 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021 at Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood. Visitation will be Friday from 11 a.m. until service time. Following the services, the family would like to invite friends to a gathering at Russell Senior Center 520 Bellefonte St. Russell, KY 41169.

   In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Dementia Society of America PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901.   

   Online condolences may be left at