MAYSVILLE -- Mrs. Lola Mae Vergne Brothers, 93, died peacefully in her sleep at home surrounded by family on Tuesday.
Mrs. Brothers was a highly regarded business owner and civic leader in the Maysville, Mason County and regional area.
She was born to Lonnie and Bertha Vergne on Oct. 6, 1924, in Lewis County.
Mrs. Brothers was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Paul Gene Brothers, who passed away in 1985; an infant son, Paul Vergne Brothers; and four siblings, Lovell Vergne, Stuart Vergne, Grace Love and Ramona Jones.
Mrs. Brothers grew up on a farm in Vanceburg and graduated from Lewis Co. High School. While she was in high school, she helped on the family farm and worked for her brothers, one of whom owned a grocery store and the other a hardware store. Upon graduation from high school, she attended a business college in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Once she finished there, she was offered a job at Browning Manufacturing in Maysville. It was there that she met her future husband, Gene Brothers. Lola and Gene got married on Sept. 14, 1946, and started a family soon thereafter.
Once their first son, Paul, was born, Lola stayed home to nurture and raise him. Unfortunately, Paul passed away at four months of age. Other children, Ramona, Rita and Don, arrived over the next nine years. During this time while she was home with the children, Lola started her own business, Brothers Drapery Shop, which she owned and operated for over fifty years. She was a very accomplished seamstress. Customers could come in and show her pictures of draperies in a magazine and she could make them, just from looking at the pictures. She grew the business from a local to regional enterprise with a great deal of business coming from return customers and their referrals. Her draperies could be found in many homes, businesses, churches and non-profit establishments in the Maysville region. Her work complimented the homes of well known local celebrities, Rosemary Clooney, Cincinnati television show hosts, Ruth Lyons and Bob Braun and Hamburg Farm. Offices in the State Capitol and the Governor's Mansion were other valued places displaying her sewing talents.
She was a loyal member of Trinity United Methodist Church for many years and served on the Board of Trustees, Treasurer and Sunday School Superintendent. With husband Gene, they were frequent delegates to the annual state Methodist Conference and one time delegates to the national Methodist Conference. They were very active supporters of the Methodist Home and missions of the church.
There is hardly a civic endeavor in the Maysville, Mason County area that could not count Lola as a participant. She was a local and regional PTA officer, member of Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, appointed to the Maysville Community College Board, active supporter of the Boys and Girls Club, March of Dimes, annual Lions Club auctions and a host of other community non-profits. She was a downtown development advocate and was very instrumental in the local library remaining in the city location. Lola served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Board at the Maysville County Club.
Like her father, Mrs. Brothers was a stalwart grassroots supporter of the Democratic Party. She was a poll worker, phone bank and mailing volunteer. Her support and counsel was sought by local, regional and statewide candidates. She was twice Chair of the Mason County Democratic Party and an early participant in establishing a local Democratic Women's Club. She was Mason County Chair for the most recent campaigns of Lt. Governor/Governor Brereton Jones and Auditor/Attorney General candidate Ed Hatchett. Many of her civic positions were also first to be held by a woman.
In addition to her talent as a seamstress, Lola was a wonderful cook. Her blackberry jam cakes and yeast rolls were well-known and enjoyed by many. Even in later years, she continued to take yeast rolls to many of her friends who were sick or could not drive. Family dinners at her house were frequent and delicious. She also enjoyed and was a frequent league bowling champion at T&C Lanes. She learned to play golf and was a three time Choppeways winner with family and extended family male partners.
Caring for her family was Lola's first priority. She took such good care of not only her children but also her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
She is survived by her three children and their spouses, Ramona Curtis (Ed) of North Wilkesboro, N.C., Rita Blakefield (Ward) of Maysville and Don Brothers (Jennifer) of Decatur, Ga. In addition, there are seven grandchildren, Chris Vice, Jason Stahl, Heather Vice, Kelli Neeley, Mark Blakefield, Brent Curtis and Todd Curtis; and 14 great-grandchildren. There are also many extended family and friends who have been frequent visitors over many years.
The extraordinary services of Lola's caregivers and Hospice cannot be overstated. Judy, Norma, Sandy, Barb, Jane, and Bernetta took such wonderful care of mom in her last months. The family wants to thank all of those involved in her care for their understanding, kindness, and support throughout the time of mom's illness.
Due to the replacement of the heating system and no heat at her beloved Trinity United Methodist Church, the Remembrance Service will be held at another one of her favorite places, the Maysville Country Club at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017.
Following this service there will be a reception at the club celebrating her life. This service and celebration are open to all who wish to pay their respects and celebrate Lola's life with family and friends. The interment will be at Black Oak Cemetery with family attending.
The arrangements are entrusted with the Knox and Brothers Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 26 West Third Street, Maysville, the Maysville-Mason County Library, 218 East Third Street, Maysville, Hospice, 909 Kenton Station Drive, Maysville, the St. Patrick School, 318 Limestone Street, Maysville (some of Lola's great grandchildren attend this school) or to a charity of choice.
Guestbook at knoxbrothersfuneralhome.com.