Whitesburg KY

Gaynell Begley dies at 91; was storekeeper, leader

Evelyn Gaynell Caudill Begley of Blackey died May 14 at Letcher Manor Nursing Home in Whitesburg. She was 91 years old.

A daughter of the late C.B. and Tessie Mae Hogg Caudill, she was the widow of Joe Taylor Begley and the mother of the late Margaret Jane Dixon.

Mrs. Begley and her husband, Joe, a Floyd County native, met when both worked at a defense factory in Manchester, Conn., during World War II. When the war ended they returned to Kentucky where she became a teacher.

After the death of her father in 1966, they lived in and ran the C.B. Caudill Store in Blackey, which was established by her father in 1933. From the store the couple became community leaders, fighting against the early abuses of strip mining.

The Begleys received the Helen M. Lewis Award for community leadership from the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in February 1998.

Mrs. Begley is survived by two sons, J.T. Begley, Knoxville, Tenn., and James Chennault Begley, Lexington; a stepson, Jody Begley, Knoxville, Tenn.; a sister, Charles Ann Mullis, Lexington; three grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held May 17 at the Caudill Cemetery at Blackey.

Letcher Funeral Home had charge of arrangements.

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