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Melba Smith (1941 - 2013)

Obituary
  • "It was my honor to call Melba my friend. What a gifted and..."
    - Jean Nead
  • "Tammy I am so sorry for your loss may God be with you"
    - Roxanne Collier
  • "I styled a photo-shoot probably 3 years ago for Melba and..."
    - phyllis covington
  • "We have wonderful memories of Minnesota summer nights with..."
  • "We have such good memories of Minnesota summer nights with..."

Melba Newbill Whitlow Smith

Melba Newbill Whitlow Smith, age 72 of Guthrie, Kentucky, passed away of natural causes on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Her children were at her side.

A gathering of friends and family will be held on Saturday, October 12th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Cook-Webb Funeral Home, 216 West Park Street, Guthrie, Kentucky, immediately followed by a reception at the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace, Third and Cherry Streets, Guthrie, Kentucky.

Melba was born in Guthrie to Melba Newbill and W. Rodney Whitlow, a farmer and a Kentucky State Representative and grew up on Mid-Way Farms. Predeceased by her parents and brother, William Rodney Whitlow, Melba 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.

Melba was a founding member and significant force behind the Robert Penn Warren Birthplace Committee in Guthrie, where she recently served as docent. Melba 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, Kentucky area and specifically for Guthrie.

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.

Cook-Webb Funeral Home, (270) 483-2157.



Published in The Leaf Chronicle on Oct. 11, 2013
Funeral Home
Cook-Webb Funeral Home
216 W Park St Guthrie, KY 42234
(270) 483-2157
Funeral Home Details
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