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Fair Board directors recognize their ‘lady’

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By Alex Wimsatt

 SHEPHERDSVILLE - Having devoted more than 30 years of her extraordinary life to the Bullitt County Fair Board, the late Ruth Sohm was recently honored by those she called friends and colleagues for decades. 

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Fair board members recently gathered to dedicate the fair board meeting room in exposition building Sohm herself had a hand in bringing to the Bullitt County Fairgrounds off Interstate 65. 

After a portrait of Sohm was unveiled inside, board members ventured outside to dedicate the board room Ruth Sohm Directors Hall.

Sohm’s life partner, Bruce Thomason, said Sohm would be humbled by the recognition. 

“She never did anything for reward,” Thomason said. “She just loved what she did.”

Thomason, who called Sohm his partner “in everything,” said she worked tirelessly to make the Bullitt County Fair the best it could be. 

Never one to complain or pass the buck, Sohm put in long hours at the fair grounds to ensure the event went off without a hitch, spending money from her own pocket in many cases, just to help out.

“The fair was a big part of Ruth,” Thomason said.

Thomason said it was Sohm’s commitment to public service and her lifelong love of horses and people that lead to her interest in establishing the Bullitt County Fair. 

In 1978, she worked with then-county judge Arson Moore and county attorney J. Chester Porter to allow the fair board to have property the fairgrounds currently occupies just off the I-65 112 exit. 

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

Thomason said even during the last fair, when Sohm was unable to attend due to illness, she checked in with board members daily to find out about the attendance from the night before.

“No one will know how much she loved the fairgrounds,” Thomason said.

Thomason thanked the fair board for honoring Sohm 

Fair board president Jimmy Anderson said Sohm’s commitment to the fair board could never be duplicated, adding that while she was a stern business woman, perceptive and meticulous with record keeping, she was also very kind with a great deal of compassion for others.

Local attorney Mark Edison, a long-time fair board president and current board member, remembered Sohm fondly as more than a fellow board member, but as someone he called a true friend for more than 40 years. 

Edison said if Sohm knew the board room was named after her, she would have said there were others who should have been recognized instead. 

“She never thought of her contribution as greater than anyone else’s,” Edison said, adding that her humility was one of the things that made her one of a kind. “No one could ever replace her.”