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Respected Educator Dies

Vesper Singleton, 83, one of he most respected educators in Knott County, died on Saturday.  He served as  a principal for over 26 years.  Born in 1928 in Anco, Kentucky, he attended grade school at Sassafras Elementary and high school at Carr Creek.  He was a member of the 1948 Carr Creek basketball team that advanced to the semi-finals of the Boy's State Tournament.  His team lost to Maysville in overtime.  He went to Pikeville Junior College on an athletic scholarship.

Vesper Singleton obtained bachelor's and master's degree from Eastern Kentucky University and additional work at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the University of Kentucky and Morehead State University.  He was in the military service for two years, 1954-56.                 

Singleton began his career at Yellow Creek Elementary as principal, coach, and teacher of an eight teacher school from 1951-54.  His teaching career was interrupted by military service and graduate work from 1954- 1958.  He served as teacher and coach at Brodhead High School in 1958-60.

Singleton returned to Knott County in 1960 and served as a teacher at Carr Creek High School for one year. He was the principal at the Carr Creek Elementary from 1960-63, the principal of Hindman High School from 1963- 1974 (until consolidation) and was the principal of the new Carr Creek Elementary from 1974 to 1983.  Singleton retired in 1983.

He served on the board of the Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital and was the former Chariman of the WYMT Mountain Classic Scholarship Committee.

He was the son of Clay and Mae Ritchie Singleton, and the husband of the late Juanita Back Singleton. He is survived by a daughter, Rebecca Singleton Goss (Mark David), and granddaughters, Elizabeth Goss Kuhn (Matthew) and Sarah Anne Goss.

The funeral  for Vesper Singleton was held at the Hindman Funeral Services Chapel.


I started kindergarten at Carr Creek in 1976 and my mom, Rayma Madden would drop me off there everyday on her way to Knott Central. Even though my granny, Ora Combs, taught at Carr Creek, I still had a really hard time getting used to school. To say I cried was an understatement. Mr. Singleton would meet me every morning and lift me up into his big arms and carry me up and down the hallway as he made his rounds. My constant crying did not seem to bother him in the least. He did this for a long time, every day. I was only 5, but I remember that to this day and I will never, ever forget it. I am so sorry to hear that he has passed on. He was a great man and I had and will always have a great respect for him. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.  Stacy Madden Fugate, Hazard, KY


The proof of a life well spent is measured by those we touch. Vesper and Juanita improved the lot of so many of us in the mountains. They were stewards of our education and instrumental to our success. We will continue to benefit from their gift for generations to come. - Donna, Darwin and Shannon Singleton


I am so saddened to hear we have lost someone that has touched so many. As a student of Carr Creek Elementary, memories I will not forget.  A man that stood so tall and was very serious about what he was doing, when a child stepped out of line, how he would handle it. Pressure points, the boys by the neck and the girls by the arm, you knew you had a trip to the office. All it took is one trip for me.  I am glad we had someone there to protect us when we entered school for that day. To his family, my prayers are with you.  Barbara Smith Isaac, Paintsville KY.


Becky & family, I am so so sorry for your loss. I thought a lot of your Dad. Grew to appreciate what he was trying to teach us later in life, but he was a rock we all should have stood on. Love to you and yours.  Ronnie & Helen Thacker, Jackson, Tennessee


He came to my family's rescue in a big way one time -he and my husband were friends and I admired and respected him as a principal.  Jaunita was a precious woman, they made a great impact on the youth when they were at Hindman high.  I am sorry for your loss.  I know he will be missed.  Nancy Williams-Reynolds, Hindman, KY 


I will forever be grateful for Juanita and Vesper's contribution to Sunshine School's growth; they were influential in a huge way. Both were extraordinary people who did so much for others. We will miss them. Pat Bryson (Harlan, KY) Pat Bryson, Harlan, Kentucky 


Mr. Singelton was responsible for molding the character of so many young people in his lifetime. I can say that because I am one of many he impacted. His level of honesty and integrity was second to none. To you the family I'm so sorry for this loss. If you need anything at all just call.  Robert A. Gayheart, Winchester, KY


Vesper and I played ball together for two years. Both of our teams are in the Pikeville College "Hall of Fame". He was a good poker player too...we were good friends.  George C Kirk, Lexington, KY


I am very sorry to hear of Mr. Singletonís death. When I was a student at Hindman High School, he and Mrs. Singleton were extremely kind and helpful to me. (I always think of them together.) They encouraged me, helped me to get into college, even gave me a job in the school office the summer after I graduated. I am sure I speak for many in saying that the support I received from them has made a tremendous difference for good in my life. Oakley Coburn, Hindman High School, class of 1967.  Oakley H. Coburn, Spartanburg, SC


Rebecca, my family and I are have many happy memories of your dad. He was my eighth grade teacher at Yellow Creek Elementary. He also taught and coached my brother, Jim Calhoun, and was my sister Sue's principal there. He spoke at Jim's funeral and was such a comfort to our entire Calhoun family.  He possessed characteristics that made him a blessing to all who crossed his path.  He will be sorely missed.  Jane Calhoun Couch, Hager Hill, KY


Take comfort in the wonderful memories you have of your Dad, Becky. Will keep you & your family in our prayers.  Wilma Crutcher, Richmond, KY


Becky, I am forever grateful to your Dad for his positive influence on my life while a student at Hindman High School. I have used his emphasis he always placed upon personal "responsibility" for my children and my employees. What a great man! My deepest sympathy is with you. Tom Francis, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 


My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. It is my prayer that the Lord engulf you in His loving arms and provide you with comfort, peace and love. If I can be of any help to you, I'm here. You are a true beacon of light and it is an honor to call you a friend. In Christ's Love.  Maralee Holder


Becky and family my thoughts and prayers are with you all. Keep trusting in the Lord, and he will see you through this difficult time. May God continue to Bless each and everyone of you. Lillie Smith, Lexington, KY


May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.  Billy Caudill, Pinetop, KY 


Vesper and Juanita were two of my parents' (Morton and Dale Combs) favorite friends. They were our wonderful neighbors for years and the four of them dedicated their life to the Knott County School System. May you Rest in Peace, Vesper. You were a wonderful man.  Susan Combs Hammack, Duluth, GA


Vesper was truly a great human being and consummate gentleman. We consider ourselves blessed to have known him. Our love and sympathy to Becky, Mark David, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Matt.  Paul/Rhonda Miles, Lexington, KY


Rebecca, I attended the PCAcademy when your father was in college and playing basketball. We have known Mark David since our pastorate in Harlan and did not know you were Vesper's daughter. I have carried special memories of him through these years. He was a joy to know. Rev. James C. Stratton 


Dear Becky, Darrel and I are so sorry to hear of the passing of your father. We will always remember him and your mother for the kindness they have shown us. Both of my parents have passed on, so I know the pain you are feeling right now, but be reassured that you will see them again some day. Let this thought be a joy in your heart as you mourn their passing. Love in Christ, Karin Ritchie


My brother, Michael was in the hospital in Lexington. Vesper and Juanita were gracious enough to offer their home to my parents (Dewey and Thelma Parks) during the this time. I have never forgotten this and still am so appreciative of their generosity. May God Bless and Keep you during your time of grief. The Family of Dewey and Thelma Parks.  Carolyn Parks Smith


Mr. Singleton was a great and wonderful person who will be missed by everyone who knew and loved him. We have so much respect for him as an educator in the Knott Co. School System. He was a very stern principal but always had the best interest of his students at heart.  Marja & Barry Amburgey  Morehead, KY


So sorry for your loss. Had great respect for Vesper as well as Juanita. May God bless you greatly.  Jewell & Ken Blair, Hindman, KY


I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with your family. - Juanita Shepherd, Jeffersonville, Indiana


Mark David - my prayers go out to you, your wife and family. I am so sorry to hear of your loss.  Terri & Rick Combs, Richmond, KY


Becky, I am so sorry to hear of Vesper's passing. Meritt and I had so much respect for him, as we spent our high school years under him. We also bought our first home from him. Just so many good memories of him and Juanita. My prayers are with you and your family as you face the days ahead.  Kay Conley, Lexington, KY


Vesper will never be get his due appreciation for the contributions he made to this community. God will note them. Rest in peace. Condolences to the family.  Jack Hurt, Hindman,, Ky


We are so sorry for your loss. Vesper was a special man and there will be no one be able to take his place. Pervis and Vesper were friends for many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Pervis & Debra Jacobs, Litt Carr, KY


Becky, so sorry to hear about the lost of your father. Vesper was a great man. When I was a student at Hindman High School I truly respected him as a Principal but more as a person. I chose a career in education because of educators like your father. Paget "Sperry" Johnson, Wittensville, Ky


So sorry to hear of the loss of a great leader here in Knott County. He will always be remembered with great respect and admiration. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  Hollie & Marty Thacker, Leburn, KY


So sorry to hear about Mr. Singleton's passing. He was a great man. My prayers are with the family.  Mark Barker, Knoxville, Tennessee 


My brother, Michael was in the hospital in Lexington. Vesper and Juanita were gracious enough to offer their home to my parents (Dewey and Thelma Parks) during the this time. I have never forgotten this and still am so appreciative of their generosity. May God Bless and Keep you during your time of grief. The Family of Dewey and Thelma Parks, Carolyn Parks 


Rebecca, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Shirley Watley


I am so very very sorry to hear of the loss of Vesper may God Bless the family.  Joshuua Max Cody, Whitesburg, KY


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