WOMBLES Henry "Buzz" 82, of Lexington, KY, passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, March 26, 2020. He was born February 12, 1938, in Hazard, KY to Henry Elliott and Mary Daugherty Wombles. Henry's work in sales, real estate, construction, and as an entrepreneur led him from Hazard to Winter Park, FL. He also worked on the renovation of the historic Compleat Angler Hotel, a favorite of Ernest Hemingway, on the Island of Bimini in the Bahamas. Henry eventually returned to Kentucky, living in Lexington for the last 40+ years. Henry loved life and lived it to the fullest, always staying busy with new projects. He partnered with his son, Chef Mark Wombles, to open Heirloom, one of central Kentucky's most popular restaurants, in the historic town of Midway in 2006. He had a strong connection to Midway and could be found talking with visitors and locals at Heirloom most nights. Henry had a way of making everyone feel welcome and valued. If you knew Henry, you knew him as a friend, not an acquaintance. Henry was known for his sense of humor and as a great storyteller. Although he had lived away from the mountains for decades, his heart remained there. He loved telling stories about growing up in eastern Kentucky, and in 2015, he published a novel set in the Appalachian Mountains during WWII, "Under the Flagpole," which he described as a "work of love" for the people he grew up with. In recent years, Henry also hosted tours of Hazard for friends from the Lexington area who had enjoyed his book. A beloved husband, father, brother, grandfather, and great grandfather, Henry is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jeanne Cox Wombles as well as three children: Shayna (Gary) Cooper of Warsaw, IN; Jeanne (Dave) Gillespie of Leland, NC; and Mark (Kyla) Wombles of Lexington, KY. He had nine grandchildren: Joshua (Kayla) Tipton, Lauren (Jeff) Kreutter, Thomas Tipton, John Cooper, Tony Tipton, Dalaynie Wombles, Liam Wombles, Cora Wombles, and Neva Wombles; and two great-grandchildren, Natalie and Carson Tipton. He is also survived by two brothers, James (Charlann) Wombles, Sr. and Bobby (Joy) Wombles, both of Lexington, and many dear nieces and nephews. A celebration of his life will be planned for a later date when circumstances permit. A scholarship is being established in Henry's name for students in his hometown. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Hazard High School, 157 Bulldog Lane, Hazard, KY 41701 for the "Henry 'Buzz' Wombles Memorial Scholarship Fund."
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on Mar. 31, 2020.