Obituaries - April 20



Mary Kathryn Ventura

   Mary Kathryn (Orr) Ventura of Russell, Kentucky, died Thursday, April 8, 2021 at age 79. 

   She was born July 10, 1941 in Columbus, Ohio, daughter of the late Grover L. and Theodora (Dora) C (Reuter) Orr. She is also preceded in death by her husband Michael H. Ventura and half siblings Lucille, Dorothy, Norman and Lois. 

   She is survived by daughters Beth Ann (Carpenter) Boswell of Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Marie (Ventura) Morrissey, and husband Ron, of Flatwoods; granddaughter Rebecca Ventura, grandson William Baker, great-grandson Nicholas Swoyer, great-granddaughter Peyton Ventura, and several nieces and nephews. 

   Mary graduated from Bexley HS, earned her BA at Capital University and her MA and PhD at Ohio State University. She held teaching positions at Reynoldsburg High School, Otterbein College, Ohio University, Lancaster High School, Ohio State University and Salem-Teikyo University. 

   Mary was extremely proud of her family and her students and took great pride in their accomplishments. She was an avid painter and loved singing. In later years she enjoyed sharing her swimming pool with all the neighborhood children. She saw every stray cat as a new friend and she deeply loved all her many pets. 

   Donations may be made in Mary’s memory to Alley Cat Allies or ASPCA. Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.


Charles Curtis Smith 

   Charles Curtis “Bucketthead” Smith passed away Monday, April 12, 2021 at King’s Daughters Medical Center.

   Chuck was born February 16, 1953 in Ashland to the late Charles Herman and Thelma Louise Graham Smith.

   Chuck was retired from CSX Transportation where he held many positions and retired as a Conductor. He had many hobbies including fishing, hunting, tending to his garden, cooking and smoking meats. Chuck always loved to put smiles on peoples faces and had a great sense of humor. One of Chuck’s greatest loves was riding motorcycles. He was a 30-year member of the Seventh Son’s Motorcycle Club, where he also served as a past president of the Ashland Chapter.

   He leaves behind his loving wife of almost 40 years Leshie Wallace Smith; four sons Jonathan Wallace of Lexington, Kurtis Smith of Westwood, Charles Smith (Shania) of Ashland and Drake Smith of Westwood; one brother Bruce Smith of Ashland; two sisters Juanita Tague of Ashland and Sue Meyer of Hanging Rock, Ohio; one grandson A.J. Smith; along with a host of extended family and friends.

   Funeral services were Thursday, April 15 at Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood. Military honors were provided by the United States Air Force and Kenova American Legion Post #93.

   Online condolences may left at


Tony Walker

   Tony Walker, 71, of Ashland, passed away, at his residence on Sunday, April 11, 2021.

   He was born March 12, 1950, in Newport, Rhode Island, a son of the late James Walker and Lorraine Pementale Walker. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Eddie Walker.

   Tony served honorably in the United States Air Force and retired from Ashland Walmart. He loved gardening and working in his flowers. He was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, but loved nothing more than spending time with his granddaughter.

   Those left to cherish his memory include his loving companion of 40 years, Sandy Patton of Ashland; step son, Jimmy Patton of Flatwoods, and granddaughter, Autumn Patton; step daughter, Tina Patton (Gary Dillon) of Coal Grove, OH; brother, Gerald Walker and wife, Janet of Ashland, half-sister, Debbie Swartz of Virginia Beach, VA., and a host of extended family members and dear friends.

   A celebration of Tony’s life was held Thursday, April 15, 2021 at Steen Funeral Home 13th St. Chapel with words of comfort provided by Thorney Artrip. 

   Burial will take place at a future date at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery, North East.

   To share a remembrance of Tony or to express a condolence to his family, please visit:


Deloris Ann Hetzer 

   Heaven became even sweeter on April 17, 2021 as Deloris Ann Hetzer, 81, went to reunite with her loved ones and The Lord, her Savior.

   This morning, she bakes her famous apple pies with her respected mother and father and sends greeting cards from beyond the Pearly Gates to everyone who had the treasurable gift of knowing her. That’s just who she was.

   Mrs. Hetzer, a forever resident of Westwood, died last Saturday at Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland after a short, yet hard-fought battle against ovarian cancer. She was born in Ashland on Nov. 5, 1939. After a full life of spiritual triumph, she met Jesus with her adored and cherished family at her side.

   As friends called her “Doe,” she was as natural and free-spirited as her Westwood home, brimming with pureness, benevolence, and sincerity. Whether mailing her favorite Hallmark card to a sister in need or sharing a warm supper with the constant flow of young police officers who patrolled her neighborhood, Doe was always thoughtful and first to share her heart. Her door was open.

   These traits were taught by her much-loved parents Fred Fitch Jr. and Thelma Irene Kelly Fitch, community activists who helped found the Westwood Boys Club and Westwood Volunteer Fire Department. Their daughter was imparted with the same giving and compassionate essence and soul.

   Mrs. Hetzer is survived by her sweetheart and soulmate of 61 years, Ellis “Pat” Hetzer, of Westwood; her children, Jeff Hetzer (Denise), of Kingsport, TN, Tammie Hetzer-Womack (Tony) of Bellefonte, her darling granddaughters Kennedy Peyton Womack and Delaney Elizabeth Hetzer, and many beloved nieces and nephews. The eldest of the four Fitch children, she is survived by her brother Roger Fitch (Bunny) of Naples, FL, and preceded in death by her brothers, Fred Fitch III and Robert “Lee” Fitch.

   Doe was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother who was a graduate of Ashland High School and Fairview Junior High, where she was a smart, energetic, and lively majorette, twirling baton and rooting on the home team. Following graduation, she entered cosmetology school, where she graduated and opened her own business “Deloris’s Corner,” a highly-successful beauty salon in Westwood. In her spare time, she enjoyed volunteering for the American Cancer Society annual community crusade and offered her will to the Westwood Boys Club Auxiliary. She was a dedicated member of the Westwood Women’s Club, who coordinated the long-time Westwood Christmas Parade, and worshipped at Fairview Baptist Church.

   A private funeral service for close family and friends is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 22 at Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood. A short visitation shall proceed the ceremony from 12-1 p.m. Pastor Elder John “JD” Crockrel of Christ Temple Pentecostal Church will officiate. Graveside services shall follow.

   In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to Kentucky State Police Shop with a Trooper Christmas Giving Program for underprivileged children.


Thomas Milton Thompson

   Thomas Thompson, 73, of Flatwoods, Kentucky, husband of Lana Miller Thompson, died Sunday, April 11, at his home. 

   Tommy was born January 9, 1948 in Beaumont, Texas, a son of the late Carsie and Charlene Day Thompson.  He was retired from Insulators Local 112, Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Tommy was a retired pastor and enjoyed hunting and fishing, but most of all his family was his life and his love for the Lord his priority. 

   He was preceded in death, in addition to his parents, by a son, Mike Thompson; brother, Larry Thompson, and a sister, Ruby Davis. 

   Surviving, in addition to his wife, include three sons: Thomas Thompson, Jr. and wife Kristina, of Olive Hill; Keith Thompson and wife Kelly, of Golden Meadow, Louisiana; Chris Thompson and wife Jenny, of Catlettsburg; two daughters, Kathy Thompson of Ashland and Lacey Holley and husband Aaron, of Flatwoods; daughter-in-law Janie Thompson; two brothers, Lynn Thompson of Talladega, Alabama, and Carl Thompson of Evans, Louisiana; sister, Sharon Nash of Evans, Louisiana; 13 grandchildren: Justin Thompson (Jackee), Travis Thompson (Carissa), Tashanda Johnson (Jon), Kelsey Duncan (Mickey), Charley Martin, Angie Watson, Michelle Medley (Keith), Brennen Thompson, Bailee Thompson, Kylie Thompson, Cayden Thompson, Cameron Thompson, Berklee Holley, and 13 great grandchildren. 

   Funeral Services were Saturday at Preston Family Funeral Home. 


David Panchot

   David Wayne Panchot, 67, of Westwood, passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at Kings Daughters Medical Center.

   David was born in Ashland, KY on March 7, 1954 to the late James and Audrey Pigman Panchot. David was a musician and an artist.

   He helped fundraise for Veterans and was employed by Diversified Assessments in Kenova.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley Crisp Panchot and an aunt, Barbara Pigman of Ashland, along with a host of extended family and friends.

   Caniff Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements. Abiding by David’s wishes, there will be no services.

   Contributions may be made to a reputable Veterans Organization.


Goldie Boyd

   Goldie Mae Boyd, 80, of Ashland, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 while under hospice care. Her granddaughter Ashley (Kevin) Caskey had been her caregiver.

   She was born November 25, 1940, in Paintsville, Kentucky, to the late Virgil and Lula Blanton Spradlin. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Robert Anthony Daniels; brothers, Ralph and Everett Spradlin and sisters, Virginia Preston and Margie Prater.

   Survivors include three daughters, Tanzy (Estil) Hurn, Ann (Scott) Cron and Ginger Daniels; brothers, Fred, Clarence, Larry and Wayne Spradlin; sisters, Mary Beagle, Christine Young, and Brenda Laws; two special friends, Tom and Pat Cooksey; several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

   Funeral services were Friday at Steen Funeral Home Central Avenue Chapel with Chaplain Jimm Smedley officiating. Burial followed in Ashland Cemetery.

   To share a memory of Goldie or to express a condolence to her family, please visit:


Wanda Hogan

   It is with great sadness that the family of Wanda Jean Hogan (Boggs) announce her passing on April 13, 2021. Wanda, was 73 years old and born on August 24, 1947 in Rush. She left us while sleeping peacefully at her residence of 40 years in Cannonsburg, and surrounded by her family.

   Wanda was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Hogan, and her parents, Wayne and Juanita Hamilton Boggs. Wanda was from a loving family of five children, the late Clyde Reddicks and Donald Boggs. She is survived by her sisters Maye Hammonds and Bonnie Lucas.

   Even though she was taken too soon, she lived her life surrounded by people who adored her. She is the loving and devoted mother of two daughters and one son, Angela (Mark) Hensley, Krista (Josh) Rogers and Bobby (Karen) Evans. Her pride and joy were her grandchildren, whom lovingly called her Nana, Caleb (Jessica) Rogers and Faith (Brandon) Louthan, in addition to her three great grandchildren and the light of her world, Emmalynn Grace, Blakelynn Hope, Madalynn Faith. She is survived by many nephews and nieces she loved and touched deeply.

   Wanda enjoyed working in the food pantry and helping the community thru the Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church of Rush, where she attended. The family would be honored to have donations made to the Mt. Olive Food Pantry at 21610 State Rt. 3, Rush, Ky 41168. 

   Funeral services were held Friday, April 16, 2021 at Steen Funeral Home 13th St. Chapel with provided by Pastor Keith Crum officiating. Entombment followed in Rose Hill Burial Park Mausoleum.

   To share a memory of Wanda or to express a condolence to her family, please visit:


Christopher Scott Swiney

   Chris Swiney, 40, of Danville, West Virginia, formerly of Wurtland, Kentucky, died Thursday, April 15, at his residence. 

   Arrangements are pending at Preston Family Funeral Home. 


Michael Wayne Bocook

   Mike Bocook, 55, of Ashland, Kentucky, husband of Carrie Bocook, died Friday, April 16, at his home while under hospice care. 

   Arrangements are pending at Preston Family Funeral Home.