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Thomas Bright

March 17, 1928 - January 10, 2021

Visitation: 3-6 pm, Monday, January 18, 2021 at Stith Funeral Home in Danville

Graveside Service: 1 pm, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Bellevue Cemetery

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Thomas Benjamin “Bud” Bright, Sr., 92, died January 10, 2021. Bud was born in Hedgeville, Boyle County, KY on March 17, 1928 to the late John Rochester and Alice Sands Montgomery Bright. He attended Hedgeville Elementary School and Boyle County East End School. He graduated from Danville High School where he played football. Following high school he attended the University of Kentucky where he studied Agricultural Science. Bud grew up on his family farm in Hedgeville, which is where his love of farming began. Bud’s professional career started at age 18 when he bought his first commercial truck to haul local freight while continuing to farm. Bud also worked with his father at Farmers Tobacco Warehouse in Danville and during this time, he also sold tobacco crop insurance. He and his father bought Bendor Farm in 1948. Bud was a Sergeant First Class in the Kentucky Army National Guard from 1948-1951. He then married his high school sweetheart Doris June Cross Bright on September 22, 1951. Bud and Doris welcomed their first child Laura in 1954. In 1956, in order to better provide for his growing family, Bud started Bright’s Bottle Gas through a Gulf branded dealer program. Bud and Doris welcomed two more children, Tommy in 1957 and John in 1966. Bud’s family and their employees continued to grow the business. When it sold in 2008, Bright’s Bottle Gas and its 15 employees had over 260 years combined experience, showing their loyalty to the family business and its customers. During his 52 years in the gas business, Bud had many achievements; he was a Kentucky Colonel, Mayor of Burgin, KY, and was on the board of the Kentucky Retail Federation where he received an exemplary service award. Bud served on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Propane Gas Association (KPGA), where he served as the President, receiving the KPGA President’s Award and the KPGA Ruth Rilling Lifetime Achievement Award, and was an honorary lifetime member. Bud also served as the first chairman of the Kentucky Propane Education and Research Council (KYPERC). During his tenure in the gas industry, Bud started two other corporations, LTJ Transport, Inc. and Bright’s Propane Service, Inc., both provided related propane services to his customers. Bud retired from the gas business into fulltime farming at Bendor Farm, which was his true passion. Bud was very active in his local farming community. Over the next decade, he tripled the size of the family farm, running an Angus Cross-Bred cow/calf operation. He served with his daughter on the Lincoln County soil conservation board and was involved in the Lincoln County Cattleman’s Association. As a farmer, Bud received the 2018 Farmer of the Year Award presented by the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, the Master Conservationist Award presented by the Lincoln County Conservation District, and the Lincoln County Conservation District Appreciation Award. Bud’s hard work and personal achievements were driven by his desire to make a better life for his family and those around him. Bud’s family describes him by the following words: selfless, determined, inspiring, supportive, loyal, unwavering, father, husband, grandfather, uncle, heroic, role model, organized, wise, intelligent, funny, charming, jokester, active, hard worker, tough (as a pine knot), loving, religious, spiritual, provider, generous, cattleman, nourisher, animal lover, and gentleman.

Bud is predeceased by his wife, Doris June Cross Bright; children, Thomas Benjamin Bright Jr. and Laura Cross Bright Adams and his sister, Rena Fayette Bright “Fay” Rue.

Bud is survived by his son John Newman (Dee Anne Ferguson Bright) Bright; grandchildren, Alice Montgomery Adams, Thomas Benjamin Bright III, and John Christopher Bright. Bud is also survived by his son-in-law, Sam T. Adams, his dear friend Donna Smith Metcalf, nieces, Fayette Montgomery Rue Schmutzler (Kenneth George Schmutzler) and Georganne Rue Williams; nephew, John Rochester Rue; his sister-in-law, Katherine Cross Stewart, nephew, Jack Stewart, niece, Arlo Stewart, brother-in-law, William A. Buckaway, Jr., nephew, William A. Buckaway III, and a host of cousins in the Bright and Kubale families. Last but certainly not least, he is survived by his little dog and faithful companion, Dot.

A graveside service will be 1 pm, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Bellevue Cemetery. Pallbearers will be John N. Bright, Thomas Benjamin Bright, III, John Christopher Bright, Sam T. Adams, Fred Browning, and John Rochester Rue. Honorary Pallbearers will be all former employees of Brights Bottle Gas Co. and LTJ Transport, Inc. Visitation will be 3-6 pm, Monday, January 18, 2021 at Stith Funeral Home, Danville. Memorial donations are suggested to the Thomas B. Bright, Sr Family Foundation. Please sign the online guestbook or the Hugs from Home program.

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