This has been a sad week for E’ton and our communities. Kathryn Glover Fox, who was a staple on Wilson Street throughout my childhood and teen years, passed away at the age of 98. Her late husband Herman Fox was a classmate (EHS ’36) and close friend of my dad Liggett Cothran.
Herman and Kathryn’s son Bill was a classmate (EHS ’64) of my late sister Faye. Their daughter Peggy, the wife of Alton Scott, is one of my oldest and dearest friends was a cheerleader for our Yellowjackets.. I cannot count the number of times my teen group was hosted by sleepovers and amazing desserts served up by this beautiful lady with a constant smile.
Kathryn, along with another of our group’s mom Mildred East, were mentors of so many of E’ton’s young ladies at the Baptist Church’s Girls Auxiliary. Mildred worked for some time at the Company Store’s Drug Store where EHS upperclassmen (actually giggly girls) ate for lunch many school days.
We usually expected at least one “If you girls don’t quieten down, I’m going to call your moms.” That settled us for five minutes or so because we KNEW they would do just that. One of my fondest memories is a GA banquet they sponsored in which we were dressed to “the nines.” Both Kathryn and Mildred are now gone, but the memories, encouragement and Christian values they left with us are forever. God bless Kathryn’s sister Floedith and Joyce and all their families. What a gift Kathryn for 98 years gave each of us who knew her — love, kindness, acceptance.
E’ton and Suthards lost a gentle soul this week with the passing of Ann Laffoon. I mourn the loss of every teacher. Ann was both a teacher and librarian at West Broadway. The younger generation may remember her only as the clerk for her husband Kenneth’s Rental Properties where she worked for many years on E. Main and on Robinson across from the Methodist Church.
Every day she had a time she would lock up the office for about fifteen minutes to walk to the post office to pick up the mail. I often watched for her and would walk out my door to chat for a minute. She was soft-spoken, intelligent and greeted all she met with a smile.
You could not help but love this tender lady, but you would not realize for the past several years she battled brain cancer. She never stopped working as long as she was able, and she remained kind and peaceful toward each of us. She gained strength through her strong faith. It has been many months since I met her at my fence to pass precious minutes, but I will not forget her many kindnesses, nor those of Kenneth to me.
The loss which broke my heart was that of Post 2 USAF veteran and classmate of my sister Faye. His mom was an awesome cook and baked delicious fresh coconut for our family each Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday when I was a preteen. She too had the same smile we saw in Phil . He was an instant friend to all who met him, especially every veteran.
He courageously battled health problems many years and often returned to the VA hospital or critical care and in dialysis. He never let his disability stop him from doing whatever he could. He worked for York and was a member of the E’ton Methodist Church. Bro. Marty will bring his personal tribute. Some of Phil’s greatest loves were hunting and fish and feeding wild animals, especially deer around his home.
That always seemed strange to me that he raised deer as he was an avid hunter. He killed his first deer as a young teen on a trip to Ft. Campbell with Doug Bullock. Phil still holds the state record for bluegill (since 1980). What many may not know about this kind, handsome veteran is that he had a fierce pride for all veterans and silently donated funds since the death of his buddy Maxey Priest III began quietly placing hundreds of American flags at Oakwood on veterans’ graves in the 1990s.
Maxey used to say it was a personal tribute he could give for his brothers. Phil was of a like-mind. He used to say he was unable to place the flags there but could finance them as long as he was here. Those two guys have always been my heroes. As was always typical of Phil, he asked for any memorial condolences to be donations to the Wounded Warriors’ Project, which was dear to his heart. He will be missed by so many, but his passing leaves a massive void in E’ton’s Post 2 American Legion. God blessed us with your quiet dignity and compassion. Well done, good and faithful servant.
This week angels carried each of these individuals we loved so much and transported them straightway into Abraham’s bosom. So God’s Word consoles us in Luke 16:22. Forever from us to One who loved them more. “For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. — John 3:16 What an unbelievable expression of love — to give the life of your only child so another will live forever. So Katheryn could live, So Ann could live and so Phil could have eternal life.
God surely loves us unconditionally. I often wonder what I could have done to deserve such a sacrifice. Thank you, God, for such a gift of which I could never repay. Thank you for making it possible to one day see my family and friends once again. To know I can see my Kim Su once more.