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Charter member of Bullitt Fair Board, Ruth Sohm, passes away at age 78

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 SHEPHERDSVILLE - A woman who has been synonymous with the Bullitt County Fair for over 30 years has died.

Ruth Jean Sohm, 78, of Shepherdsville, died on Monday, July 23, 2012.

Sohm, who grew up in Zoneton, was a real estate broker and certified appraiser for Thomason and Sohm Realty and Auction Co., of which she was an owner.

Selected as the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen in 1983, Sohm’s love of horses led to her interest in establishing the Bullitt County Fair.

Prior to that, she was instrumental in the creation of the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce in the mid-1970s. In 1978, she worked with then-county judge Arson Moore and county attorney J. Chester Porter to have a lease drawn up to allow the county fair board to have property at the interchange of Highway 245 and Interstate 65.

That is the present home of the Bullitt County Fairgrounds.

As a charter member of the fair board, Sohm was responsible for much of the organization of the event throughout the year.

“Ruth was always the one you could count on to get things done without spending a lot of money,” said Mark Edison, a long-time fair board president and current board member.

Edison, who leases space for his legal practice from Sohm, said it was always convenient to walk across the hall or to eat lunch in his conference room with her. He said she was always available to do whatever the fair board needed.

He said it was probably her love of horses and her daughter’s involvement in riding that sparked her desire to work on the fair board.

Once she got involved, Edison said Sohm would jump in and do anything that was needed.

Although the fair board positions are made up of unpaid volunteers, Edison said Sohm spent a lot of her time during her work hours handling things such as rentals of the fairgrounds.

Even during the past fair, which Sohm was unable to attend due to illness, she checked in daily to find out about the attendance from the night before.

She was responsible for handling the finances of the fair board but was also involved in all aspects of the operation, said Edison.

“You could always count on Ruth,” said Edison. “She was always so easy to work with and she was good with people. That’s someone you can’t replace.”

Another project Sohm was involved with was helping to get information together to push for TARC bus service in Bullitt County.

She was a member of East Audubon Baptist Church, Star of Hope Chapter 183 of the Order of the Eastern Star and a charter member of the Bullitt County Fair Board.

She is survived by her life companion, Bruce Thomason; daughter, Paula (Michael) Calhoun; sister, Jane (Bob) Gatlin; brothers, Robert and Roger (Carol) Holsclaw; grandchildren, Gina Young and Terry Greenwell; and great-grandchild, Danielle Clagett.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 27, at Schoppenhorst, Underwood and Brooks Funeral Home in Shepherdsville with burial in Hebron Cemetery.

Visitation will be from Noon until 8 p.m. on Thursday.

The Rev. Carl Thomas will officiate. Pallbearers will include Tim Kutz, Jimmy Anderson, Mark Edison, Happy Cahoe, Jeremy Lee and Kevin McGruder. Honorary pallbearer will be retired Judge Thomas Waller.

Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Immanuel Baptist Church or to the Order of the Eastern Star.