Franklin - Rebecca Shugart Searcy, 97, of Franklin, Kentucky, died early Sunday morning, February 10, 2019, after a brief illness.

Rebecca was born in Franklin on June 6, 1921, and was a lifelong resident of Simpson County. Her father and uncle operated Shugart Brothers Grocery in Middleton, Kentucky, and Rebecca always considered Middleton her real home. Until her passing, she continued to enjoy "riding out home."

After graduating from Middleton High School in 1938, Rebecca attended Western Kentucky State College, where she earned a degree in education and a teaching certificate. Western is also where Rebecca met the love of her life and future husband, John W. Searcy.

After completing college, Rebecca returned home and began her teaching career at Middleton Grade School. She married John Searcy on October 29, 1944, and after he returned from WW II, they continued living in Middleton until November 1961, when they "moved to town" in Franklin. Once there, Rebecca began teaching first grade at Franklin Elementary School, and continued in that endeavor until her retirement in 1984. She loved all children dearly, but she especially loved her school children, and was always delighted to see them through the years.

Rebecca moved her church membership from Middleton Baptist Church to First Baptist Church Franklin when they moved to town, and was a faithful member there for as long as she was able to attend and participate. She sorely missed being able to go to church and see her friends. Her church was very meaningful to her, and she greatly loved her church activities and her church family.

Some of her church friends became close personal friends, and "a good time was had by all" at numerous card parties, suppers and trips over the course of many years. To this day, her home still echoes with the sound of laughter and the smells of good cookin' from the many gatherings of that special group of good friends.

Rebecca was a very warm and sociable person. Her door was always open, and she loved for folks to stop by, be it her women friends, her husband's business associates, or her daughter's school friends. She welcomed them all. She delighted in the company of others, and greatly missed seeing people when she was no longer able to get out and about.

Rebecca was involved in various community organizations through the years, including Garden Club and Music Club, and she was a member of DAR. She also served on the Women's Advisory Board of Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children.

Rebecca's home and family meant everything to her. After their respective retirements, she and her husband continued their lifelong travels and basked in their complete enjoyment of each other's company.

Rebecca was preceded in death by her father, John Thomas Shugart; her mother, Eula May Caldwell Shugart; and her husband, John William Searcy. She leaves to cherish her memory her dearly beloved daughter, Jane Searcy Bellucci (Dennis), and her devoted, longtime caregiver and second daughter, Kesha Matthews.

Rebecca Shugart Searcy was, in all ways, a fine woman. She was a loving and obedient daughter, a faithful and devoted wife, and a dearly loved and admired mother. She truly looked for the best in every person and every situation. Her cup was always almost completely full. Her sparkling blue eyes were memorable to all. She was appreciative of every little thing, and it did not take much to make her happy. She just loved doing things for people. She was an excellent cook, and she loved to play cards. She was a trooper, and was always up for something new, even as she herself grew old. She loved children, dogs, birds, rabbits, flowers, rocks, seashells, full moons. She will be forever missed, and her absence from this earth is difficult to contemplate.

Visitation for Rebecca Searcy will be on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and again on Thursday, February 14, 2019, from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., at Gilbert Funeral Home in Franklin. Rebecca's body will lie in state at Middleton Baptist Church from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., at which time her funeral service begins. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Franklin.

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