In Memoriam: Eugene Masters, Keeper of Valley View’s Memories

Eugene Masters, a former general store owner, passed away in Valley View, Kentucky, in March 2015. He was 86 years old.

Born on December 6, 1928, in Millon, Kentucky, 1 to Esther Masters, 2 Eugene spent his early career as a clerk in Fayette County. He later took over the operation of the Valley View General Store.

In February, an article highlighted Mr. Masters. Years earlier, I had visited the store, intrigued by how much of its original interior was preserved. The building, with its white wood clapboard siding, narrow front porch, and elevated position, recalled a bygone era of bustling community life. In the summer of 2014, I revisited and had the opportunity to speak with Eugene Masters. Our conversation, centered around the store and past times, unexpectedly became our final interaction.

The funeral arrangements for Mr. Masters were managed by Combs, Parsons & Collins Funeral Home in Richmond.


  1. Kentucky, Birth Index, 1911-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc., 2006.
  2. Year: 1940; Census Place: Madison, Kentucky; Roll: T627_1337; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 76-27.


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I believe the store might have been built and ran by Paul DavisThe store was owned and ran by Fred and Martha Perkins in the 60’s and early 70’s. Until Fred became ill and they sold out and moved to town. It was later owned/operated by Clarence Rhodus followed by Kirby Rhodus and his wife Sue Rhodus. Sue’s sister and brother in law (Melissa and Ivan Isaacs) helped run the store after Kirby’s death. Gene Masters bought the store building and lived in it but he never operated the store. Gene was a Korean War Veteran. He drove a tank in the war. He was notable muscian. The Richmond Register did an article on him years ago. I believe he even had small parts in a couple of western movies.

Eugene Masters was my uncle on my father’s size, he was a notable musician and song writer. He played with several bands on the Louisiana Hayride and composed a song, called “Dirty Dishes Blues.”

Gene lived with, and was a caregiver for my grandmother until she passed away. That was in the 1980’s and in Bluffton, Indiana. Later, he left Bluffton and we lost track of him.

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