Near the beginning of the 1900’s the late Claude Logan Ryley, one of Kentucky’s leading coal producers and coal dealers, had a fine residence constructed for his family at 161 Broadway in Versailles, Kentucky. Upon his death he willed the home to his grandson, Ken Ryley, who in turn sold the property to Ber Rasnick and the late Scott Miller in the late 1940’s. In 1948 Mr. Miller and Mr. Rasnick founded the Miller-Rasnick Funeral Home. In 1957 Mr. Rasnick sold his interest in the firm to Mr. Leslie J. Blackburn, Jr. and the firm became known as Miller-Blackburn Funeral Home. Mr. Miller and Mr. Blackburn continued to develop the business, and in 1977, Mr. Blackburn became the sole proprietor of the firm and changed the name to the Blackburn Funeral Home, which it remained until Mr. Blackburn’s retirement in 1989 at which point Mr. J. Steve Ward, a longtime employee of Mr. Blackburn’s, acquired the business and changed the name to Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home.


Mr. Ward continued to grow the business until January 1, 2017 when upon his retirement he sold the business to Mr. William B. Butcher, CFSP. Today, the firm is owned and operated by Mr. William B. Butcher, CFSP and Ms. Leigh Ann Lewis, CFSP. The current staff is the same familiar caring faces you have come to know over the years. When he is not out enjoying the retired life with his wife Carol, Mr. J. Steve Ward still continues to be an active member of the funeral home staff. Mrs. Penny Baker who has been a part of the firm for nearly 20 years continues to serve our families and offer her services as funeral director, preneed insurance sales and monument sales. And last but not least Mr. Gary Finnell, who is our part-time employee and jack of all trades, has been assisting with all aspects of the funeral services for over 40 years.


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