Nancy Dee Hearne June 16, 1930 - October 14, 2019
Born in Paducah, Kentucky, to Robert E. Hearne, MD, a surgeon and
honor graduate at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Melville Akin Hearne, daughter of a dentist, a college graduate and volunteer nurse in World War I, Nancy Dee Hearne was the second of their two daughters.
Dr. Hearne built the Princeton Hosiery Mill in Princeton, Kentucky, engaging his cousin George Grayson Harralson, an Arkansas attorney, to be General Manager. Dr. Hearne kept a majority stock position in the Mill, while continuing his medical practice. At his death in 1932, the stock remained in Melville Akin Hearne's possession. When George Harralson became widowed, he sought Melville's hand in marriage, and built Green Acres in Princeton for Melville, which became the family estate in 1936, where Nancy Dee Hearne resided also. After her mother's death in 1975, Nancy Dee moved to Louisville, KY.
Nancy Dee Hearne attended the prestigious Ward Belmont girls school in Nashville, Tennessee, as did her mother and sister. She matriculated to the University of Kentucky, pledging Chi Omega sorority, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Murray State University. Miss Hearne spent the majority of her career as a teacher in the Jefferson County School System, working well beyond her retirement date with secondary school high risk students, "providing the tools they needed to move onto the next step", said friend and teaching associate Pamela Trowbridge Turner.
Miss Hearne also volunteered for the Louisville Literacy Program at the Jefferson Community College for several years, and was a voracious reader herself. She often exhausted a subject or an author. She wrote a treatise on the Kentucky Night Riders, with original interviews from men in Western Kentucky who participated. Praised by her professor, it became a part of his book without attribution.
Miss Hearne may be best remembered in Princeton as the proprietor
of a gift shop featuring fine silver and stoneware imported from England.
She took business courses at Spalding College in Louisville. In her twenties, Miss Hearne had been the European traveling companion of her mother's first cousin Nellie Tayloe Ross, the first woman Governor of any state, Wyoming, who subsequently became the first female Director of the United States Mint, and was reputed to have saved the U.S. Treasury millions dollars by implementing the simple housecleaning method of cleaning the gold dust out of the chimneys where gold bullion bricks were made.
Miss Hearne, whose lineage included two Methodist Church preachers, the first of whom fought in the Revolutionary War, and who later established Pisgah Church in Maurey County, TN. She was a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, from 1975 until her death October 14, 2019, at age 89. She had one sibling, Allison Hearne Randolph, who died at age 57 in 1979, and whose husband Ralph Randolph died at age 46 in 1964. She is survived by her sister's three children, Robert Hearne Randolph (Sue), who resides in CA; Ann Ryder Randolph, resident of CA; and Mary Melville (Melly) Randolph McNeal (Frank), who resides in Savannah, GA. A second nephew Ralph Bradley Randolph died at age 18 in 1974. Mr. and Mrs. McNeal have one daughter, Jane Randolph McNeal Saunders (Keith), who reside in New Hampshire. Miss Hearne, who never married, was very close to her sister's children, and visited her niece, Melly Randolph McNeal and family, frequently in Savannah, in earlier years. Her family in Savannah enjoyed her wonderful sense of humor and quick wit! We deeply missed her but are assured that she is now with her Lord and Savior. A memorial service was held in Louisville, KY on October 20, 2019. Burial will be in the Hearne family plot in Princeton.
Savannah Morning News
January 5, 2020
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