Our staff's commitment to you

Our staff is committed to providing support, compassion, information, and direction as needed to all members of our community, their families, and friends who are dealing with loss and grief.

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Billy Butcher, CFSP Funeral Director/Embalmer/Owner billy@blackburnandward.com

Billy Butcher, CFSP, Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Owner of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home, was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the youngest son of Charles and Becky Butcher. He is a graduate of Lafayette High School and Mid-America College of Funeral Service. With over 23 years of experience in funeral service, he has spent the last 11 years as the General Manager of Kentucky Mortuary Service. Billy is currently serving as President for the Central District Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He also serves on several committees for the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). Billy is the proud father of Caitlyn Butcher. In his free time Billy enjoys coaching youth soccer and basketball, hunting, and snow skiing. He looks forward to becoming an active part of the community and is committed to serving all the families of Woodford County.

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Leigh Ann Lewis, CFSP Funeral Director/Embalmer/General Manager leighann@blackburnandward.com

Leigh Ann Lewis is a Funeral Director, Embalmer, and the General Manager of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home. Leigh Ann was born and raised in Grayson, Kentucky. She is the youngest daughter of Gary Dickerson and Gwen Sparks Dickerson. Leigh Ann is a graduate of East Carter High School, Morehead State University, and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. For 10 years Leigh Ann has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory operator. Leigh Ann is an active member in the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky and the National Funeral Directors Association. She has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). Leigh Ann is the proud mother of two young daughters, Annabel Lee Lewis and Eleanor "Ellie" Kay Lewis and they are currently members of St. Leo Catholic Church in Versailles and St. Paul Catholic Church in Lexington. In her free time she enjoys helping with youth sports, Girl Scouts, and helping with school sponsored activities and fund raisers. Leigh Ann is looking forward to getting settled into the community and working hard to help all the families we serve.

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Penny Baker Funeral Director/Office Manager pbaker@blackburnandward.com

Penny Baker, office manager, licensed funeral director and pre-need insurance sales, is a valuable resource to the organization of our firm. Penny has been an employee of our firm for almost 20 years. She is a mother of two sons, Justin and Austin, and the wife of Kim Baker. Penny is an exceptional resource for assisting families with funeral planning, pre-need arrangements, insurance claims, monuments, veterans forms, social security assistance, and other matters which may take a burden off of the details of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Penny is most often the person at the "other end of the telephone", she is able to answer most of the questions a family may have. We are proud to have Penny as a part of our "family", she keeps us organized and on course, making the transition of losing a loved one easier for the families we serve.

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Steve Ward Funeral Director/Embalmer sward@blackburnandward.com

J. Steve Ward, retired Funeral Director and former owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home was born in 1954 in Hazard, Kentucky. The youngest of four sons of Hazel Fox Ward and the late Judge Don A. Ward, Steve and his wife Carol (Tatman) are the parents of one son, Hank, who is married to Tracie, and the grandparents of Peyton. Steve is a graduate of Hazard High School, is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. A member of the Versailles United Methodist Church, he served as the Woodford County Coroner from 1990 to 2011, is a certified master Coroner in the state of Kentucky, has been a Rotarian and past president of the Versailles Rotary Club, past president and board member of the United Way of Woodford County, and served as board member, past Treasurer and past President of the Woodford County Salvation Army. A funeral director for over 41 years, Steve was the owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home from 1989-2017. He was an employee of the firm for 12 years prior to purchasing the firm from his predecessor, Leslie J. Blackburn. Steve remains active in the funeral home when he is not out enjoying his recent retirement.

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Gary Finnell

Gary Finnell has been a vital employee of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home for over 40 years. Gary assists with visitations and funeral services and maintains a dedication to serving families with a friendly warm greeting. Gary is most often visible at our parking lot door, greeting those who call during visitations. Gary is a member of the Versailles Baptist Church, is Past Master and member of the F&AM Landmark Lodge #41, and is a former volunteer for the Versailles Fire Department. Gary is married to Linda G. Finnell and is the father of two daughters, two granddaughters, and two grandsons.

Billy Butcher, CFSP

Funeral Director/Embalmer/Owner
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Billy Butcher, CFSP, Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Owner of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home, was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He is the youngest son of Charles and Becky Butcher. He is a graduate of Lafayette High School and Mid-America College of Funeral Service. With over 23 years of experience in funeral service, he has spent the last 11 years as the General Manager of Kentucky Mortuary Service. Billy is currently serving as President for the Central District Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He also serves on several committees for the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky. He has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). Billy is the proud father of Caitlyn Butcher. In his free time Billy enjoys coaching youth soccer and basketball, hunting, and snow skiing. He looks forward to becoming an active part of the community and is committed to serving all the families of Woodford County.

Leigh Ann Lewis, CFSP

Funeral Director/Embalmer/General Manager
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Leigh Ann Lewis is a Funeral Director, Embalmer, and the General Manager of Blackburn and Ward Funeral Home. Leigh Ann was born and raised in Grayson, Kentucky. She is the youngest daughter of Gary Dickerson and Gwen Sparks Dickerson. Leigh Ann is a graduate of East Carter High School, Morehead State University, and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. For 10 years Leigh Ann has worked as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory operator. Leigh Ann is an active member in the Funeral Directors Association of Kentucky and the National Funeral Directors Association. She has completed over 180 hours of continuing education to earn the designation Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). Leigh Ann is the proud mother of two young daughters, Annabel Lee Lewis and Eleanor "Ellie" Kay Lewis and they are currently members of St. Leo Catholic Church in Versailles and St. Paul Catholic Church in Lexington. In her free time she enjoys helping with youth sports, Girl Scouts, and helping with school sponsored activities and fund raisers. Leigh Ann is looking forward to getting settled into the community and working hard to help all the families we serve.

Penny Baker

Funeral Director/Office Manager
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Penny Baker, office manager, licensed funeral director and pre-need insurance sales, is a valuable resource to the organization of our firm. Penny has been an employee of our firm for almost 20 years. She is a mother of two sons, Justin and Austin, and the wife of Kim Baker. Penny is an exceptional resource for assisting families with funeral planning, pre-need arrangements, insurance claims, monuments, veterans forms, social security assistance, and other matters which may take a burden off of the details of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Penny is most often the person at the "other end of the telephone", she is able to answer most of the questions a family may have. We are proud to have Penny as a part of our "family", she keeps us organized and on course, making the transition of losing a loved one easier for the families we serve.

Steve Ward

Funeral Director/Embalmer
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J. Steve Ward, retired Funeral Director and former owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home was born in 1954 in Hazard, Kentucky. The youngest of four sons of Hazel Fox Ward and the late Judge Don A. Ward, Steve and his wife Carol (Tatman) are the parents of one son, Hank, who is married to Tracie, and the grandparents of Peyton. Steve is a graduate of Hazard High School, is an alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Transylvania University, and Eastern Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. A member of the Versailles United Methodist Church, he served as the Woodford County Coroner from 1990 to 2011, is a certified master Coroner in the state of Kentucky, has been a Rotarian and past president of the Versailles Rotary Club, past president and board member of the United Way of Woodford County, and served as board member, past Treasurer and past President of the Woodford County Salvation Army. A funeral director for over 41 years, Steve was the owner of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home from 1989-2017. He was an employee of the firm for 12 years prior to purchasing the firm from his predecessor, Leslie J. Blackburn. Steve remains active in the funeral home when he is not out enjoying his recent retirement.

Gary Finnell

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Gary Finnell has been a vital employee of Blackburn & Ward Funeral Home for over 40 years. Gary assists with visitations and funeral services and maintains a dedication to serving families with a friendly warm greeting. Gary is most often visible at our parking lot door, greeting those who call during visitations. Gary is a member of the Versailles Baptist Church, is Past Master and member of the F&AM Landmark Lodge #41, and is a former volunteer for the Versailles Fire Department. Gary is married to Linda G. Finnell and is the father of two daughters, two granddaughters, and two grandsons.