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Three leave us too early

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Saying Goodbye/by Thomas J. Barr, publisher

 The longer you stay in the community, the most impressed you are with the people who live and work here.

As I occasionally reflect back on those who have left us, this week there are three distinct individuals.

When I started working here 34 years ago, one of the first individuals I met who operated a manufacturing business was Richard Eschman.

He bought a small business and turned it around.

It has now expanded to two buildings.

In those days, economic development was something Bullitt County -- and many others -- talked about. But there was really no action.

There was no government incentives.

Eschman, and later his family members, built up the business, saved jobs and then grew so more could be employed.

In the past few years, we didn’t meet up too much. But he was always very pleasant and always wanted to help the community.

His work in the community was important years ago and his family will continue that work for many years to come.

When you think of those holding judicial positions, your views may be varied.

When you think of Judge Rebecca Ward you probably think of an unconventional judge.

She was truly a person who loved people in the community -- no matter where they worked, where they lived and what income they had.

If you saw Ward on the campaign trail, you would see that she loved people. She loved talking with those in the community.

To become an lawyer and then a judge, Ward did it the hard way. She worked her way through college and law school.

It was that mentality that she brought to the bench. Her one fault may have been she tried to help give those who appeared before her on the bench a hand up.

She may have tried to work with you the first or second time you appeared in her court. 

But she could also be very strict in her rulings.

No matter her final decision, she wanted to help people.

Those who ran against her quickly found out that she was well loved by the general public.

They respected her hard work and her willingness to help the community.

She served on various organizings, including the Mount Washington Lioness Club and the Bullitt County Fair Board.

She battled cancer but cancer finally won, just weeks after she began her retirement.

She makes the third judge to pass away in the past six months.

The first district judge, Fred Friske, died without any fanfare or any public notice.

And then Circuit Judge Thomas Waller recently passed away.

All three were good representatives.

Most recently, Mike Higgins suddenly passed away.

Some remember that Higgins twice ran unsuccessfully for the magistrate’s position in the Third District.

What many may not know is the hours Higgins spent trying to improve his community.

He was a constant figure at many governmental meetings. 

Our last conversation was his concern about the future of the Bullitt County Sanitation Distirct.  He was concerned that there had been no decision yet on how the district would move forward.

He was a hard worker in the North Bullitt Lions Club.

He went out and tested water in the Brooks Run stream near his Fox Chase home to help state officials keep an eye on the levels of pollution.

He served as a Fox Chase city councilman.

Mainly, he used his time in retirement to stay active and to do things which improved his community.

Mike will also be missed.