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Sad farewell to Sadie Evelyn

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

I’m sorry to inform our readers of the passing of Sadie Evelyn Lusby.

She died at 11:40 a.m. on Monday, April 6.

Sadie Evelyn was a community correspondent for the Grant County News for more than 20 years.

Her inaugural column appeared in the June 16, 1988 issue of the Grant County News.

In her opening sentence, Sadie Evelyn wrote “The new correspondent muses if Elizabeth Taylor could have posed for the picture.”

It is the custom that all community correspondents have their photo appear weekly with their column.

Whenever Sadie Evelyn came into the News office to have a new photo taken, she would nearly always tease about breaking a camera or asking if we could reduce the wrinkles around her eyes.

Sadie Evelyn had a quick wit.

She was a religious lady who lived her life as an example to others. She was strong in her beliefs and wasn’t afraid to let you know when she disagreed with you.

She and I had a long discussion some years ago about an editorial I wrote. Sadie Evelyn took exception to my thought process and came in to the office in person to tell me so.

I was not offended by that exchange. It was simply who Sadie Evelyn was.

The News receptionist once greeted her with “Mornin’ Sadie” and Sadie Evelyn was quick to let her know that her given name was Sadie Evelyn and that is what she was to be called.

She meant no offense. It’s just the way she saw the world - in black and white, right and wrong.

Sadie Evelyn’s column focused on the small but proud community of Mason. She kept Grant County News readers informed of the comings and goings, births and deaths, as well as birds visiting her feeders and about her family of which she was most proud.

Outside of her relationship to God, Sadie Evelyn’s family was her top priority. From her husband, two daughters, five grandchildren and eventually four great grandchildren, she included something about them in nearly every column.

Family mattered to Sadie Evelyn, but not just her own. She cared about the families all over Grant County.

Her inaugural column contained information about Betty Taylor taking her mother to visit a nephew in Nashville. It also contained a tidbit about Mason Baptist Church holding its annual mother-daughter banquet.

“It is rumored that Mary Markesberry has a new fishing pole,” it even said.

That was Sadie Evelyn. She strived weekly to capture a slice of life from her corner of the world and then to share it with others.

Back during the Gulf War, the Grant County News sent care packages to local soldiers serving overseas. One of those was a Mason resident and upon his return to Grant County, he stopped by the News office to thank us for the care package and especially the latest issue of the Grant County News, which contained Sadie Evelyn’s column. He said it was the next best thing to being home and even his buddies who hailed from large cities took comfort in reading her words.

Sadie Evelyn took a lot of pride and pains with her column. She poured over dictionaries and gave a thought to each word that she choose to use.

As Grant County grew and changed, the number of community correspondents trickled down to just her, but nearly each week she’d have her husband, Hubert, faithfully drive her to the News office to deliver the column written in cursive on lined notebook paper.

If a word or place had a particular spelling, she’d make me a note in green ink so that I could tell she spelled it that way on purpose. For emphasis, she always used capital letters.

When the News office moved to Dry Ridge a couple years ago, she said the drive was too far and caused too much wear on her tires with gas too high, so she would take it to Bruce’s Grocery where they were kind enough to fax it to us.

Her plea was always that people would share their news.

Sadie Evelyn was part of this newspaper before I was even living in the county and she had my respect.

I’m sad she’s gone but know that she was ready to meet her maker. Her fervant prayer was that everyone would be found worthy on judgement day.

I bet she’s already hit the good Lord up to author Heaven’s Highlights, her spin on the angel’s activities.

(Jamie Baker-Nantz is editor of the Grant County News. She can be reached at 859-824-3343 or at j.bakernantz@fuse.net)