Many times through the years, I have read the obits of people and have known that person to be a great contributor in one way or another to our community. For all that they did, they always seemed to give to our society in ways that received no names on buildings or highways. Nor were they rewarded with inflated titles or salaries. They gave, simply, because of the love they had for our county, and the people who call Meade County home.
Georgia Katharyn McGehee was absolutely one of these modest people. Born on October 7, 1932, the fourth child of George Benham and Mildred Griffee Benham, she was named after her father and grandmother Kathryn Mae Griffee, who was also her teacher at the one-room Rock Ridge School. Kay was part of a large Christian family who lived and worked on a farm, including her brothers Thomas Franklin, Roy Dean, Stuart Pressley (Boakie) Behnam, and surviving siblings, brother Kenneth Benham of Virginia, sisters Mary B. Thornhill and Rose B. Welch both of Brandenburg, KY.
Kay’s wondrously happy life included a Meade County High School graduation, a loving marriage, a successful career, and a full life well lived. Kay graduated in 1951 and became a working woman in Brandenburg and Louisville and loved to travel. She married her sweetheart, Maury McGehee, the love of her lifetime. Although they never had children, she is survived by a stepdaughter and great friend, Sue Virginia Gilvin. She also worked alongside her husband at McGehee Farm Store. She was not just a wife, but a partner who cooked meals for the help drove the trucks and assisted with management until they sold their business. Later, after the death of her husband, she continued her professional career for another 16 years as a bookkeeper and publisher at the Meade County Messenger.
After a great life, and a body-worn and frail from it, Kay passed on January 10, 2021, at the age of 88. Although having no children of her own, she was a mom and granny to many. She shared her love of life and adventure with many friends and family. She taught country kids to respect life and the world around us. She taught manners and how to love without conditions.
She was the “go-to person” for many nieces and nephews. Her door was always open, and if locked, all knew where the key was hidden. Kay listened to troubles without condemnation, would offer a hug when needed, but would give a “kick in the backside” if she felt it warranted. Among some of her best characteristics, Kay carried no grudge, and she carried her pains and discomforts with jokes and grace. She expected nothing of anyone, but always gave more than ever deserved.
Last, but not least, Kay was a unique personality that could go from being an avid outdoorswoman who loved to garden and fish to the picture of office perfection as she helped run a hectic and demanding business. There are not many women on this Earth of her strength, versatility, and fortitude anymore. She was beautiful and will surely be missed by all.
In honoring Kay’s wishes, the family has chosen cremation. No public service was held. Arrangements were entrusted to Hager Funeral Home. In honor of Kay, please consider donating to the American Cancer Society at https://donate3.cancer.org, planting a tree, or feeding a bird.