Marian Bradford Davis, 93, wife of the late Dr. Horace N. Davis, veterinarian and owner of the Thoroughbred Horse Farm, Bluegrass Heights died Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 in her home in Cynthiana after a brief illness.
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She was born in Flemingsburg, Ky. on Jan. 24, 1921, was the first daughter of Pauline and Lawrence A. Bradford. She was named for her maternal uncle, Marion Rhodes and her paternal uncle, Hollis. Marian grew up in a family devoted to education. Her mother had been a middle grade school teacher and her father, a lifetime professor at the University of Kentucky. She graduated from Flemingsburg High School, moved with her family to Lexington in 1938 and entered the University of Kentucky. In 1942, she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Agriculture.
While in college she met her future husband, Horace N. Davis Jr. of Fayette County. She was a member of the social organization, Kappa Delta and the honorarium, Phi Upsilon Omicron. She married October 17, 1942 just two days before her husband entered the service in World War II. In 1957 Marian represented Kentucky in the Mrs. America pageant where she placed first in four of the six contesting events and was selected of the three finalists. Governor A.B. Chandeler commissioned her a Kentucky Colonel after the contest.
In the year 1972, after the death of her husband, she inherited and became owner of the thoroughbred horse farms, Bluegrass Heights, in Fayette County. During her tenure, and with her son Horace N. Davis III known as Colonel Davis as manager, the Blood Horse Magazine in 1982 reported, "Bluegrass Heights Farm is proud of its record for producing seven champions and over 70 stake winners, averaging more than 20 percent stake winners." She produced a filly name Gay Style who broke the world's record for the mile.
Marian enjoyed entertaining, giving small and large dinner parties as she followed her horses and the horses' of her clients to the tracks at Keeneland, Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Saratoga, and Hialeah and other state and international tracks including, Venezuela. Many more champions and stakes winners were produced and added in the following 30 years. She was a member of the Thoroughbred Breeders of Kentucky Club, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, Inc., Thoroughbred Club of America, The Keeneland Association, The Carriage Association of America, University of Kentucky Scholarship for Agriculture Students, member of the National and State Women's Auxiliary of Veterinarian Medicine, President of Town and Country Garden Club and of Christian Women's Fellowship of Central Christian Church and the United way of America, a board member of Midway College and Transylvania, a founding member of the Idle Hour Country Club, a member of Central Christian Church, Beaumont Presbyterian Church and Cynthiana Christian Church. She was also a sustaining member of the National Republican Party, the Task Force, a Republican Congressional and Senatorial Committees.
She is survived by a son, Horace Davis III (Colonel) and his wife Kathi Pratt of Bluegrass Heights Farm in Cynthiana; a daughter, Dr. Nancy Davis VMD and her husband Carl Kloentrup of Crittendon, Ky.; two grandsons that have lived with her, Dr. Drew Butcher a University mathematic instructor and Cpt. Bradford Davis in the U.S. Army; her brother, Charles Rhodes Bradford (Madeline Watkins), Ann Kyle, Lawrence Allen Bradford, James Lee Bradford, Charles Rhodes Bradford Jr. (deceased) and grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Ruth Bradford Landrum (Charles, deceased), and is survived by her three daughters, Susan Due, Martha Boyd, Marian MacDonald and grandchildren; her sister, Sue Ann Cowgill, (Ben, deceased) and her three sons, Bradford Lee Cowgill, Lawrence Harwick Cowgill, Benjamin Cowgill and grandchildren; brother-in-law, Calvert N. Roszell (Nancy, deceased) and his three children, Calvert N. Rozell III, Dr. Stephen Roszell, Kathryn Roszell King and his grandchildren.
She enjoyed life, her family, her friends, music, art, nature and the church.
A visitation will be held Friday, Aug. 8 from 5-8 p.m. at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home-Main St. Private burial services will be held at the Lexington Cemetery.
Kerr Brothers Funeral Home
463 East Main Street
Lexington, KY 40509
Published in The Cynthiana Democrat on Aug. 7, 2014