Carolyn Smothers Booe, 78, died Thursday at Frankfort Memorial Hospital after a lingering illness. She was the widow of the late John Booe, former owner of Rebecca Ruth Candies, who died in January. A resident of Frankfort since 1958, she was a native of Springfield, Ky.
Mrs. Booe was beloved for her irreverent humor, droll wit, and her occasionally prickly outspokenness. If she didn’t tell it like it was, she definitely told it like she saw it, and in a given situation, odds were she would see it differently than most. Her nature, however, was quietly compassionate; for example, she once organized a pool of donors to pay for the critical surgery of an ailing housekeeper who had no health insurance.
She liked people, was particularly drawn to the shy, and in her errands about town, enjoyed tickling folks from all walks of life out of their shells.
She will be remembered for her high spirits. By way of example, a favorite event for her three children during the holidays was watching their mother blast mistletoe from treetops with their granddaddy’s hunting rifle.
Next to her family, her first love was music. A pianist of considerable skill and originality who played completely by ear, she taught herself the instrument by observing local night spot chanteuses, often sitting on the bench next to them. This often resulted in her inviting the whole band home for late night revelry and continued song.
Mrs. Booe’s first marriage was to the late Caleb Ballard, whose untimely death in 1961 left her a single mother with one small child and another on the way. Ever resourceful, she invested in real estate and supported her family independently. In 1965, she married John Booe, recently returned to Frankfort from the east coast to take the reins of Rebecca Ruth Candy, founded by his mother.
Mrs. Booe is survived by her three children, who in order of birth are: Martin Booe, of Los Angeles, and Charles Booe and Ruth Booe of Frankfort. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Nick and Seth Gabbard, and Alex and Sara Booe; and her beloved daughter-in-law, Risa Booe, wife of Charles.
A native of Springfield, Ky., Mrs. Booe was the daughter of the Margie Perkins Smothers and John Smothers, who was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and who served as assistant commissioner of revenue under Governor Happy S. Chandler.
Services will be held 3 p.m. at Rogers Funeral Home, 507 W 2nd St, Frankfort, KY followed by visitation.