Laurel W. True, beloved husband of Alice Stivers True for 57 years, passed away Saturday, Aug. 17, at his home in Shelby County, at age 80.
Mr. True had a long and distinguished career in Kentucky state government, holding key positions in public health and public education. In retirement he continued as an advocate for health, education and human service issues as a member of the National Policy Council of AARP, vice chairman of the board of Seven Counties Services and as a former trustee of Georgetown College, his alma mater. He also was a farmer and a Marine Corps veteran.
First and foremost, Mr. True was a dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ, devoted husband, father and grandfather. He and wife Alice were charter members of Immanuel Baptist Church, in Frankfort, where he served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher and trustee.
In addition to Mrs. True, survivors include a son, Julian Guthrie True (wife Jennifer), of Frankfort, and granddaughters Whitney True Lawson (Phillip), of Frankfort, and Sloane Guthrie True, of New York City. He was predeceased by his parents, Arthur Julian and Isabelle Harp True, and a brother,
Arthur Julian True Jr.
Laurel True, known to family and friends as “Poppie,” was born Jan. 28, 1933, at Newtown in Scott County, but was raised near Burgin in Mercer County and graduated from Burgin High School in 1951. He then entered Georgetown College, and after graduation in 1955 began four years of service in the Marine Corps, attaining the rank of captain. He and Alice were married in July 1956.
After leaving the Marine Corps in 1959, Mr. True began a career in state government, first with the Department of Revenue and the former Department of Health, where he played a role in starting the Kentucky Medicaid program and the Appalachian Regional Hospitals system. He also earned a Master’s degree in public health from the University of Michigan. When the state Department of Human Resources was elevated to cabinet level, Mr. True was appointed as its first secretary by then-Governor Wendell H. Ford.
During the administration of Governor Julian M. Carroll, Mr. True served as executive director of a commission on deep mine safety. Mr. True joined the Department of Education as an assistant superintendent under Raymond Barber, the state superintendent of public instruction.
Mr. True’s long years of volunteerism have included membership on or activities with AARP, the Frankfort Rehabilitation Board, United Way of Franklin County, Seven Counties Services board, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation, Shelby County Hospital Board and Shelby County Library Board.
Visitation will be 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Immanuel Baptist Church, with funeral services at the church at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21. Burial will be in Frankfort Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be Arthur J. True III, Ben Stivers, Phillip Lawson, Paul Blakeley, Steve Dooley, Tom Dooley, Bruce Dungan, Scott Tippett and Ryan Sell. Honorary pallbearers will be Laura Sell, John Underwood, Sue Rogers, Janie Columbia and the Men’s Sunday School Class of Immanuel Baptist Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Infant Resource Center, Immanuel Baptist Church, 1075 Collins Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601 or American Heart Association, Ky Region, 240 Whittington Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40222. Arrangements by LeCompte Johnson Taylor Funeral Home. Guestbook is online at ljtfuneralhome.com.