Agnes Bernadine Sturgill

This photograph is of Agnes Bernadine Sturgill Eaton with her husband, Samuel Kenneth Eaton, and their daughters, Beverly (on the left) and Barbara (on the right). This photograph was taken sometime between 1949 and 1950.

Agnes Bernadine Sturgill Eaton was the daughter of Sarah America Harper and John Franklin Sturgill. Agnes was born in Grahn, Kentucky, on October 29, 1921, and died on December 20, 2004. Samuel was born on May 4, 1918, and died on April 21, 1978. Both are buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Louisville, Kentucky.

written by her daughter, Beverly Smith

Agnes was born October 29, 1921, in Grahn, a little village in Carter County, Kentucky. She was the oldest child, and only daughter to survive infancy, of John Franklin Sturgill and Sarah America Harper. She was later joined by three brothers, John, Bill, and Joe, whom she adored. Since this was the second marriage for each of her parents, she also had two half sisters, Lucille and Jean (who were born and died in Grahn, Ky.), and three half brothers, Karl, Sam, and Herman. She often talked about the happy days when all the children were at home. When Agnes was two years old, her father, who worked for the Louisville Fire Brick Company, was transferred to the South Louisville factory. So the mountain-born girl grew up in a small city.

She often talked of growing up in her neighborhood. She loved to go to church, going to all the Baptists' services and filling in with a small Weselyn Methodist Church's Sunday afternoon service. Agnes loved to sing. Her mother would often give her nickels and dimes if she would stand up and sing a solo for the Methodists. Her summers always included a trip to the mountains. Sarah would hire a stepson or friend to drive her and the children back to Grahn. John worked five and a half days a week with little time off and often could not go. Agnes had interesting stories to tell about these trips. Returning to Grahn every summer, kept her anchored to her roots.

She married Samuel Kenneth Eaton, a neighborhood boy, on January 15, 1938. She was just 16 years and 2 months of age. She had two daughters, Beverly and Barbara, who had the same birthday but were born three years apart. She was quick to tell people about this amazing fact. She started her married life as a "stay at home mom and wife." When her daughters were old enough to stay at home on their own, she started to work outside of her home. She earned her high school diploma and went to business school for a year. Her first real job was as warrant clerk for the Louisville Police Department. She would later say she received a real education there. She retired as a Data Processor for the Department of Commerce, in Jeffersonville, Indiana, commonly referred to locally as the Census Bureau. She earned many recognition awards as a fast and very efficient worker. When she retired, Agnes loved to travel. She took many trips with both Jean and Lucille and a friend from her Police Department days. She loved to sew and work on her current home. Another of Agnes' interest was to buy and sell homes. She loved the process of going into a new home and decorating it with her furniture and pictures.

Agnes was a devoted wife, loving mother, and caring daughter. She was a care giver to both of her parents during their last years. She took care of her husband during his illness in the last year of his life. Kenneth died in 1978 after 40 years of marriage. Agnes was resilient and independent enough to go on with her life as a widow. She was there constantly with her daughter Beverly during long hospital stays for cancer treatment. She did everything she could to help Barbara resettle in Louisville after living in Los Angeles.

The last two years and eight months of her life were spent at Friendship Manor Nursing Home. She had an advanced case of osteoporosis which was painful and limited her movement. She was happy there and loved the view from her window of mature trees and an occasional deer.

Sometime in her teen years, Agnes decided she preferred the name of Bernadine. She never officially changed it but in situations where her legal name was not required, she called herself Bernadine. On her tombstone, which she had placed next to Kenneth's after his death, she had engraved "Bernadine Sturgill Eaton, October 29, 1921." All that needs to be added now is December 20, 2004, and her beloved Praying Hands symbol. She always said, "I believe in the Power of Prayer. It can work miracles."

Agnes Bernadine Sturgill Eaton at age 22 years, 3 1/2 months, holding her youngest daughter, Barbara, while her daughter Beverly is kneeling in background with back to camera. Photograph taken in Louisville,Kentucky, area.

Agnes Bernadine Sturgill at age 4 (1925), in her new coat. This photograph was taken on Wentworth Avenue in the Beechmont area of Louisville,Kentucky. Behind Agnes Bernadine is a new home being built.

"Mom's obituary was in The Courier Journal and it was also in The Oldham Era (my sister and I live in Oldham County--165 miles from Carter County). My favorite obituary is the one that appeared in The Oldham Era as it is more personal giving the name of the minister who officiated. The young minister who officiated is from Pike County, Kentucky, which is also located in the mountains of Kentucky."

Agnes Bernadine Eaton, 83

Agnes Bernadine Eaton, 83, of Louisville, died Dec. 20, 2004, at Baptist Hospital East.

She was a native of Carter County and a data processor for the Department of Commerce in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Survivors include two daughters, Beverly Smith and Barbara C. Eaton, both of Buckner.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today (Thursday) at Stoess Funeral Home in Crestwood, with the Rev. Jack Copley, pastor of Crestwood Christian Church, officiating. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery in Louisville.

Memorial gifts may go to the American Cancer Society.

published in The Oldham Era, December 23, 2004, issue.

Note: Due to two severe winter storms, Agnes Bernadine Sturgill Eaton's funeral was not held on the planned Thursday, December 23, 2004, but had to be postponed to Friday, December 24, 2004, which was Christmas Eve.

Agnes Bernadine (Sturgill) Eaton

This photograph was taken on November 2, 1936.

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Click here for a larger version of this photo

That photograph of my Mom was taken in either 1943 or 1944.

Submitted by: Barbara C. Eaton

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