Melba Newbill Whitlow Smith, 72, of Guthrie, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. Her children were at her side.
She was born in Guthrie to the late Melba Newbill and W. Rodney Whitlow, a farmer and a Kentucky State Representative and grew up on Mid-Way Farms. In addition to her parents, Mrs. Smith was preceded in death by her brother, William Rodney Whitlow.
Mrs. Smith was a founding member and significant force behind the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Committee in Guthrie, where she recently served as docent. She was also proud to support PFLAG and the Human Rights Campaign, believing so much in the rights and welfare of others, as well as a dedicated gardener and an uncompromising advocate for the Todd County area and specifically for Guthrie.
A gathering of friends and family was held Saturday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Cook-Webb Funeral Home. immediately followed by a reception at the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace.
She is survived by Samuel K. Smith, the father of her children: Monty D. Smith (partner Gary Hilbert), Tammy S. Jones (partner Edward Schroeder), and Rodney Smith (wife Ann Marie and her children Taylor and Marisa). Melba was adored by her grandchildren Daniel Jones, Jessica Jones, Jared Calhoun and Madelyn Smith, and great-grandchildren Peyton and Dylan Jones. Melba also leaves behind many dear friends in Todd County, Owensboro, Kentucky, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Northern New Jersey, and throughout the country through her work with the Robert Penn Warren Circle.
To honor Melba, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace House. Donations may be sent to Robert Penn Warren Birthplace P.O. Box 296 Guthrie, KY 42234.