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 George Anne <I>Massey</I> Egerton

George Anne Massey Egerton

Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Death 11 Aug 2011 (aged 80)
Elizabethtown, Hardin County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 74834508 · View Source
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George Anne Massey Egerton, a beloved champion of children (her own and other people's), animals of all kinds, home cooks and bakers, local musicians and artists, gardeners, storytellers and free spirits of which she was one, died Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011 of cancer at her Elizabethtown home. She was 80 years old.

George Anne Massey Egerton She spent her entire life in Kentucky and almost all of it in Elizabethtown, the ancestral home of her mother, Mildred Ellen Montgomery Massey, whose Baptist family was prominent for generations in Hardin County civic and business affairs. After the Civil War, they spearheaded such local growth as the development of Montgomery Avenue, east of downtown. One of the oldest homes there, a two-story brick of Italianate design, was to become both Mildred Ellen's and George Anne's permanent address.

George Anne's father, George Thomas Massey, had grown up as a choirboy in the Catholic Church in Bowling Green. He later made a name for himself as an insurance executive, a member of the state legislature and of the Elizabethtown City Council. He was a championship amateur golfer and founder of three country clubs.

In 1929, in defiance of church and family, he eloped with Mildred Ellen Montgomery, who was 10 years older than he and by then a divorcee with a teenage son. George Anne, the only child of Mildred Ellen and George Massey, was born in Louisville on April 6, 1931.

Returning to Elizabethtown, they lived in a storybook-like Victorian home with turrets, at the corner of North Dixie and Miles streets. George Anne, a dark-haired beauty like her mother, blossomed into a popular student and cheerleader at Elizabethtown High School, and a star on the girls' softball team. After graduation in 1949, she was about to be steered by her parents to a private girls' college in Missouri when she rebelled and ran away to marry Joseph Hardin Johnson, a Kentucky state trooper and World War II veteran. The following year they had a son, Hardin, born in Louisville.

Her parents had divorced by then, and Mildred Ellen was living in the family house at 624 Montgomery Ave. George Anne, with her husband and baby, moved there to live with her mother and housekeeper Mary Bea Perry of Elizabethtown. Two more babies quickly followed. Judy in 1951 and Doug in 1952, both delivered by natural childbirth in the home. The following year, George Anne divorced. She and the babies remained on Montgomery Avenue with her mother and Ms. Perry. The three women maintained a close bond to one another and to that address for the rest of their lives. Ms. Massey died in 1956 and Ms. Perry in 2008.

On Nov. 22, 1956, George Anne married William Graham Egerton of Cadiz. In Elizabethtown, he entered the real estate and insurance business and later was part-owner of Rider's men's clothing store and manager of the local Hilliard Lyons stock brokerage. He and George Anne had two sons, Rowland in 1958 and John in 1964. The Montgomery Avenue home was a hub of community activity enlivened by their five children, other family members, neighbors, and steady stream of guests and a menagerie of pets in perpetual motion.

George Anne's father died in 1974, and the following year she and Graham were divorced. She was by then pouring her energy into musical exploration, first with the piano, which she had studied as a child, and eventually with the guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, banjo and harp. As a singer-songwriter, she regularly played and sang at schools, the local hospital and library, and a variety of festivals including The Berea Craft Festival. In 1989, she composed and preformed 10 songs for an album titled "Single-Minded Lady." It was recorded in Nashville by producer John McEuen.

The animal population at 624 Montgomery included, over time, countless dogs and cats as well as horses, burros and a llama, in a fenced pasture adjacent to the house. It was generally understood, to the delight of some and the dismay of others, that the pets, regardless of size, were routinely considered first among equals.

George Anne was a teacher at heart, always eager to share her passions as a pet keeper, gourmet cook and pastry chef, musician, hostess, flower gardener and public-spirited citizen. She was an adventurous and open-minded homebody and a vocal advocate for causes ranging from local historic preservation to global environmental protection. Her pies and cakes were a sensation on countless occasions, such as at her son John's Bardstown seafood restaurant and her daughter Judy's annual Derby party in Louisville. An invitation to her Christmas Eve musical feast was coveted by all who knew her.

Never one to live by the standard clock and calendar, she probably would have been late to her own funeral, had she chosen to have one. Instead a gathering of family and friends to honor her memory is at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Elizabethtown home place on Montgomery Avenue.

George Anne is survived by five children in this country, Hardin (Patty), Judith (Mike), Douglas (Rhonda), Rowland (Ellen) and John (Bonnie), and by Abed Onn (David), in Malaysia; five grandchildren, Andrea, Cory, Micki, Jessica and Casey; and six great-grandchildren, Lexie, Grady, Pen, Andrew, Anthony and Jack.

A granddaughter, Chrissy, preceded her in death.

The family suggests that George Anne's memory be honored with a contribution to PAWS, a local animal shelter foundation, P.O. Box 1116, Elizabethtown, KY 42702, or by planting a tree or other perennials at a place of your choosing.

Brown Funeral Home in Elizabethtown is in charge of arrangements.

Condolences may be expressed at

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  • Created by: CK3
  • Added: 12 Aug 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 74834508
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Anne Massey Egerton (6 Apr 1931–11 Aug 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 74834508, ; Maintained by CK3 (contributor 46816692) Unknown.