Obituaries published in the Jessamine Journal 3.8.19

Published 8:32 am Thursday, March 7, 2019

Elexene Cox
April 15, 1921 – Feb. 22, 2019
Upon her heavenly arrival, Feb. 22, at age 97, “Mom/Nana” is already busy authoring books, producing dramas, costuming angels, and making her famous rolls for the saints, performing in Heaven her gifts and talents she lovingly shared on Earth. Zenie, as she was affectionately known, was born April 15, 1921, the daughter of the late Winfield Leonard Mastin and Ruby Glass Mastin. She was preceded in death by her husband of 75 years, John Foster Cox, Jr. as well as her daughter, Judith Lynne Cox, her sisters Sarah Gill and Anita Underwood, and her son-in-law, Robert F. Taylor. She is survived by her daughter, Patti Cox Taylor, her granddaughter, Ashleigh Taylor DeCecca (Justin), and her great- grandchildren, Taylor and Lawson DeCecca. Also surviving, are her sisters Bettye Lee Mastin, Jaunita Byrnside, and Wini Yunker, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and a special caregiver, Dorothy Peel.
She received numerous civic awards for outstanding community service throughout her life, most notably “The Lane Report Leaders in Education Award” in 1995 and “The Sanders-Brown Center on Aging Markesbery Senior Star Award” in 2014. The accomplishments which brought her the most joy were the writing, producing, directing, and costuming of “The Jessamine Outdoor Drama” and “The Paul Sawyier Story.” She was also the author of several books about Jessamine County and local church history. Visitation was held Monday, Feb. 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hager and Cundiff Funeral Home. Services were held at 11 a.m., Feb. 26, at Nicholasville Baptist Church. Pall bearers were Justin and Lawson DeCecca, Joe and James Yunker, William Cox, and Norman Cline. Honorary pall bearers were ladies of the Wingo Circle and the cast members of the Paul Sawyier Story. She was interred at Maple Grove Cemetery. A celebration of her life followed at the Nicholasville Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. To sign Elexene’s Guestbook and view a Tribute Video, go to Hager & Cundiff is honored to be chosen to care for Elexene and the Cox Family.

Martin J. Cunningham
April 15, 1953 – Feb. 25, 2019
Martin J. Cunningham III, 65, husband of Sheree Cunningham, passed away peacefully in Nashville, Tennesse on Monday Feb. 25. Martin was born April 15, 1953 to Col. Martin and Ann Cunningham. He is survived by his wife, Sheree Hart Cunningham; son, Martin J. Cunningham IV; daughter, LeeAnn Cunningham; grandson, Tevin Lemke; sister Kathleen Cunningham; brother Michael (Rita) Cunningham; and nephew Jimmy (Meg) Cunningham. Martin practiced law with Bingham, Greenebaum, Doll of Lexington, Kentucky.
A gathering of family and friends was held on March 2, 2019 at Clark Legacy Center – Brannon Crossing. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Martin lived his life as an example to others. If you knew him; you knew love. May his memory bring you comfort. Love you more than beans and rice.

Patricia Jane Johns
March 13, 1966 – Feb. 28, 2019
Patricia Jane Johns, 51, wife of Jerry Johns. Services were noon, Tuesday at Betts & West Funeral Home, visitation was from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday.

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Gena Houp
April 4, 1938 – March 4, 2019
Hager & Cundiff is honored to serve the family of Gena Houp, widow of James Thomas. Remembrance Service 1 p.m. Today at Hager & Cundiff.

Donald Dean Shewmaker
Oct. 4, 1933 – Feb. 28, 2019
Donald Dean Shewmaker, 85, widower of Virginia. Services 1 p.m. Tuesday at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, visitation after
10 a.m. Online guestbook at