Alberta Moynahan

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Alberta Edgerton Moynahan, 90, of Danville, died Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013. Born Feb 17, 1923 to Dee Edward and Blanche Morgan Edgerton, she was the assistant director of the McDowell House for 20 years. She was the widow of James O. Moynahan. Also preceding Alberta in death were her sister, Betty Jo Black; H.F. Edgerton, brother; and Janice Moynahan, daughter-in-law.
In Dec. of 2012, Alberta Moynahan retired as Assistant Director of McDowell House Museum in Danville. In the spring of 2012 she received two awards for her 27 years of service, the Ida Lee Willis Memorial Foundation Preservation Award presented in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office, and the Lifetime Dedication to Kentucky History Award presented by the Kentucky Historical Society. Presenters recognized her passion relaying the history of Dr. Ephraim McDowell and his house to thousands of students and visitors.
Nurses serving in this area as part of their nursing education tour the McDowell House because of the program created by Alberta. She reveled in sharing her knowledge, in meeting McDowell family members and others from around the world who share an interest in the history, and in knowing well the many doctors, historical preservationists and volunteers who served on the board or otherwise supported the McDowell House Museum. Alberta thrived on her association with McDowell House, was a voracious reader of Kentucky history, and thoroughly enjoyed being involved in Danville.
She moved to Danville from Ballard County following the death of her husband, James O. Moynahan in 1980. From 1959-1980 Alberta assisted her husband, the second wildlife biologist employed by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, in managing the Ballard Waterfowl Management Area in Ballard County. The refuge and James Moynahan during this period were featured in Field & Stream, Happy Hunting Grounds, and in multiple television segments featuring hunting and fishing.
Beyond completing refuge administrative tasks, Alberta was a gracious hostess to all who visited the lodge, acquiring lasting friendships within and outside Kentucky among people who understood the unique setting created by "Big Jim" and Alberta Moynahan. Jim and Alberta enjoyed a perfect partnership during these years, an era still remembered by outdoorsmen, who have established a state award named after James Moynahan to honor noteworthy hunting and fishing enthusiasts. A church soloist for many years in Springfield and Bandana prior to her move to Danville, Alberta served for years at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church as choir librarian, a teacher of the Joy Sunday School Class, and founder and coordinator of the Fun Loving Hearts senior citizens group. Valedictorian of the Springfield High School Class of 1940, Alberta throughout her life endeavored to make a difference and to enrich the lives of others.
Survivors include her daughter, Maureen (Paul) Elwyn of Danville; two sons, Rev. James Michael Moynahan of Kevil, and John Patrick (Anita) Moynahan of Erlanger; eight grandchildren, Brian Moynahan, Tamara (Jim) Chapman, Melissa (Ryan) Duren, Kristie Moynahan, Kori (Travis) Torsak, Kelli (Matt) Marksbury, Laura Elwyn, and Geri Antrobus; six great-grandchildren, Reed Duren, Abigayle Duren and Zachary Torsak, Bryce Marksbury, Danielle Thweatt, and Rachel Chapman and two nieces and one nephew.
The funeral service was held at Thursday, Dec. 9 at Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. Rev. Tommy Valentine officiated and was assisted by Keith Stillwell and Mike Moynahan.
Pallbearers were Brian Moynahan, Robert Black, Malcolm Miller, Matt Marksbury, Dan Schlernitzaur and Ryan Duren. Honorary pallbearers were the McDowell House Board of Directors, the Joy Sunday School Class, Carol and David Senn and Lauren Clontz.
Interment was at Springfield Cemetery.
The family suggests donations to The McDowell House and Lexington Avenue Baptist Church. An online guestbook is available at
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Stith Funeral Home
318 W. Broadway
Danville, KY 40422
(859) 236-2113
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Published in The Springfield Sun on Dec. 18, 2013