Elizabeth Imogene Hensley Huffman, 85, of Knob Lick, Ky went to her heavenly home on December 30, 2021, surrounded by loved ones.
Imogene was born on January 28, 1936, unto the union of Harry H. Hensley and Mary Orene Steele Hensley in Knob Lick, KY. An only child, she grew up in the Knob Lick area where her father ran a successful farm, and her mother operated the Knob Lick post office as Postmistress.
Imogene grew up in church, and in a Godly home. She gave her life to the Lord at a young age. Throughout her life she has given sacrificially to serve Him as well as her family, friends, and neighbors. She was a member of and served in the church for much of her adult life. In the latter decades of her life, she attended Coral Hill Baptist Church.
As a teenager, Imogene worked at the Snowball Dining Room inside of Mammoth Cave National Park. Imogene graduated from Center High School in 1954 where she was a cheerleader. She married Merle Gordon Huffman, also of Knob Lick, on November 5, 1954, after meeting him at church years prior.
Once the couple wed, Merle received orders to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He reported there in August 1955. In December of 1955, he returned home to Knob Lick to take his bride to their new home in Colorado. While he served there, she worked at a dry cleaners for their “running around” money, and they had a wonderful time exploring the tourist area they found themselves serving in.
In February 1957 the couple welcomed their first daughter, Lanetta Sheryl. The following month, due to a family member’s health issue, Merle was granted an honorable compassionate discharge from service. The young family returned to Knob Lick to help on the family farm, making the drive in their 1953 Buick with their one-month-old daughter on the armrest between the two of them.
Back in Knob Lick, the couple worked the farm and Imogene learned to be a wonderful cook as the couple made the transition back to farm life. The couple welcomed a second daughter, Sonda Alice, in February 1961. Imogene worked tirelessly as a homemaker, mother, and cooked for and fed the farmhands. She was also known to get out and help in the fields, and Merle remembers that she would work circles around even the toughest hand. When needed she would also fill in for her mother at the Knob Lick Post Office.
After raising her girls, she continued to work on the farm and serve her church family. In June of 1974, her family grew as she welcomed a son-in-law, Mike Shive. In August of 1982 her first granddaughter, Kara Michelle Shive was born to Mike and Lanetta. When Lanetta returned to work, “MaGenie” filled her days with spoiling her new grandbaby. She welcomed a grandson, Ryan Michael Shive, in September 1985 and continued to help raise a second generation. Enjoying her role as babysitter so much, she also welcomed a friend’s children, Tara and Kayla, into her home while their parents worked. Once Kara and Ryan started school, she helped see them off each day, and welcomed them home from their bus ride each day with hugs, “little round things,” and rainbow marshmallows. She continued to support her grandchildren through their various school activities, sports, and clubs.
In her free time, she and Merle enjoyed traveling to see their musically talented friends, Lew DeWitt and the Statlers, making an annual trip to Stanton, visiting family along the way. They followed local basketball teams and attended the annual state high school basketball tournament and enjoyed watching high school basketball.
She served as a caregiver for her aging father, ensuring he had daily visits for the years he was in care following a serious health issue. She also took on opportunities to serve at her church and help her family by cleaning their homes while they worked.
She took several trips with “her girls” (Lanetta, Sonda, and Kara) including ventures to the mountains and the beach. Many, many shopping trips started early and ran late into the evening with lots of fun, food, and laughter filling the day. Her days were filled with caring for others and enjoying time with those she loved.
She welcomed a grandson-in-law, John Ray Ford, in 2005 when he wed Kara. In May 2013, Jase Michael Ford was born to the couple and “Gene Gene” once again stepped up to help raise another generation. She was adored by her great-grandson who she continued to babysit for until her death, although to hear him tell it, he was there to help her “because she was old”. She also kept him well-stocked with Smarties. In December 2017 she welcomed another son-in-law, Greg Altman when he married Sonda in a ceremony in the Great Smoky Mountains. In July 2020 she welcomed a granddaughter-in-law, Mary Smith. Finally, in November 2021 she had the pleasure of welcoming one more sweet great-grandbaby, Emma Louise Shive, who was a bright spot in a time of struggle as her health deteriorated.
She leaves behind a legacy of following the great commands to love God with all her heart, soul, strength, and mind, and loved her neighbor as herself. She was the embodiment of her favorite scripture, 1 Corinthians 13. Her loss will be felt greatly to those who knew and loved her, but her family rejoices knowing that she is at Home, more alive than she has ever been, worshiping God, and praising her Savior.
Visitation will be held at Coral Hill Baptist Church on Sunday, January 2, 2022 from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm and on Monday, January 3, 2022 from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm with a Celebration of Life service at 1:00 pm. Burial will follow in Metcalfe Memorial Gardens Cemetery. .
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Metcalfe County Public Library, Coral Hill Baptist Church Building Fund, Edmonton Baptist Church Building Fund, or Gideons International.
The family has entrusted Cone Funeral Home (1510 Campbell Lane) with arrangements.