BAYOU -- Kathleen Vance Chipps, 93, of Bayou, Kentucky, died peacefully in Paducah, Kentucky, on March 15, 2017. Thus closed the final chapter in a long life, richly lived, shaped throughout by a loving, generous spirit.
Mrs. Chipps was born on April 12, 1923, in the family farmhouse just outside West Paducah, Kentucky. She graduated from Heath High School in 1941, and from Paducah Junior College in 1943. She pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics at the University of Kentucky and was awarded it in 1947.
Shortly after graduation, she went to work for the University of Kentucky Extension Service helping women apply modern principles to managing West Kentucky homes. Mrs. Chipps eventually returned to the University of Kentucky and received her Master's in Education in 1958. This opened to her a career in teaching, where she did more than her share to enrich the lives of students at Brazelton Middle School, Heath High School, and, finally, Reidland High School.
After she married John Charles Chipps of Bayou, Kentucky, she moved to Livingston County, where she was soon a stalwart of that river community. After the death of Mr. Chipps, she directed and managed the family farming enterprises. Mrs. Chipps lived in her historic Bayou home until the flood of 2011 destroyed it.
That catastrophe forced upon her a move to Paducah, which she undertook with resilience and remarkably good spirits. A longtime member of the Smithland Baptist Church, she joined the Lone Oak First Baptist Church after her move.
"Susie" enjoyed doing many things through her long life. No shrinking homebody, she loved to go and do, and thus saw and experienced much. In her youth, she was (lore has it!) a fearsome tennis player. For much of her life, enjoyment simply meant "add water." She fished, water-skied when that was a novelty sport, and spent many happy years in the company of friends and family on the "Skipper Chipps" as it made its way through western Kentucky lakes and waterways.
It always seemed right that her house was perched grandly on the banks of Bayou Creek, a short cast from water's edge.
Later in life, she developed her skills as a painter, especially in watercolors; many are her friends and relatives whose walls are yet graced with one of her beautiful paintings. Most of all, though, she was a true "people person."
She liked being around students, colleagues, kinfolks, and friends old and new. She put people at ease and was always ready to laugh with them. Susie was special and will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved her.
Mrs. Chipps was preceded in death by her husband of forty years, John Charles Chipps; her parents, Charles W. Vance Sr. and Mayme Miles Vance; her sisters, Mary Elizabeth Vance and Jo Ann Cockrell; and two brothers, Charles W. Vance and Sherley M Vance.
She is survived by ten nieces and nephews; and twenty great-nieces and nephews.
Services will be conducted at noon Saturday, March 18, 2017, at Lone Oak Chapel of Milner & Orr Funeral Home and Cremation Services with the Rev. Jeff Wallace officiating.
A private burial service will be at Duley Bluff Cemetery in Livingston County.
Visitation is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Missions Outreach at Lone Oak First Baptist Church, 3601 Lone Oak Road, Paducah, KY 42003.
You may leave a message of sympathy and light a candle at milnerandorr.com.