We are nearing the Christmas season and our thoughts turn to giving to others. It seems appropriate for us to honor Katherine Roberts, our Interesting Person this week, because she gives of herself to people all the year, not only at this holiday season. She gives her time and talents to her family and friends and to her community as well.
She is the former Katherine Lewis, the oldest one of 11 children born to the late Orvie and Lizzie Sego Lewis. She was born Oct. 17, 1924. The youngest child in the family died when only 18 months old. She maintains a close relationship with her remaining brothers and sisters. They are: Herman Lewis of Columbia; Jack, Dodd, Jerry and Wayne of Lexington; Doris Hollowell of Jackson, Mary Lou McDaniel of Whiteville, Jane Woods and Brenda Weatherford of Lexington. They are a very close knit family and love to get together for dinner and fellowship. On of her sisters says Katherine was a second mother to her younger brothers and sisters. Mrs. Lewis died in 1981 and Mr. Lewis in 1983.
Katherine attended Henderson County schools and went to work at the age of 17. Her first job was with Salant and Salant Shirt Factory. She worked there until she married John Lloyd Belew in 1948. They had three children; Elaine Blankenship, Debbie McCormick and John Lloyd Belew Jr. Her husband died suddenly in 1952.
In 1954 Katherine bought the Lexington Florist Shop from Mary Hay Patton and served the public at funerals, weddings and in other ways until 1974. Her parents had moved in with her to help care for the three small children when she bought the florist.
Elaine, the oldest daughter, lives with her mother and works for Quaker Oats in Jackson; Debbie is married to Buddy McCormick and lives in Scotts Hill. She is self-employed. John is married to Janie Buffington. They live in Russelville KY. He is employed at International Label Co., in Clarksville TN.
Katherine has nine grandchildren; Jonathan and Kyle Blankenship, Tiffany and Tara McCormick, Missy Russom, Cheyenne, Courtney, John and Josh Belew. She also has four great-grandchildren; Joshua and Jacob Russom, Kirk and Garrett Blankenship.
Katherine was married to Claude Roberts in 1974. She then sold the florist and moved to the Roberts farm at Wildersville. She entered into the life of the community, giving of her time and talents as always. Claude was president of the Wildersville-Beaver Ruritan Club and held other offices. Katherine was always a big help, going beyond the call of duty. All her friends love and appreciate her.
She made Claude's children welcome when they visited. His sister, Flossie Horn of Memphis, came with her children and was always well received for her enjoyable visits. Claudes health failed and he was sick at home for a long time. Katherine waited on him, never complaining. She cares deeply for her family, her church and community. He died in 1987.
She is a member of the Wildersville Baptist Church, teaches an adult Sunday School class, and is a member of the Women's Missionary Union. She works hard during the holiday season helping prepare beautiful fruit baskets for the senior citizens and for the sick in the community. She also gives of her talent by singing in the choir. She is a diligent, hardworking member of the Ruritan Club, serving as secretary for many years and has also held other positions in the club. She gives much time and effort coordinating the events that the club sponsors. She orders the food for the booth at the fair and takes care of many other activities. The Ruritan Club salutes Katherine for her loyalty and hard work.
She was named Woman of the Year 1966-67 by the Business and Professional Women's Club. She is the substitute mail carrier at the Wildersville Post Office and also works part time at Walmart. Her life has always been one of service to others. Some of the things she does to help; canning and freezing fruit and vegetable for people during the summer months; taking people to the doctor. She exemplifies the well known verse: "Not what we give, but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare".