Maribeth Porter Hambrick, college, church and Georgetown civic leader, passed away July 16, 2021, leaving a legacy of love, compassion, and service.
Maribeth was born Jan. 12, 1928, in Lexington, Kentucky, to the late Ira Porter of Caneyville, Kentucky, and the late Mary Thompson of Bagdad, Kentucky. Moving to Louisville in 1931, she graduated from Atherton High School, and then received a BA from Georgetown College in 1949.
Maribeth’s parents met while at Georgetown College, and Maribeth first met the late Dr. Horace Thomas Hambrick in the home of then College President Sam Hill, leading to a marriage of more than 66 years. Together they were partners in the College, church and community.
In Georgetown, Maribeth served as the president or chairman of multiple organizations; including the Scott County Woman’s Club, the Georgetown Book Club, Garth School PTA, and the Scott County Council of the Arts. She served as chairman of Scott County fundraising drives for the March of Dimes, Polio, the Cancer Crusade, the American Red Cross, and the Council for the Arts, as well as the Day for Georgetown College. She served on the Cardome Advisory board. No less an authority than Georgetown historian Ann Bevins called Maribeth “a local force of nature.” In 1971, Maribeth was named “Outstanding Woman” by the Georgetown Woman’s Club. For 20 years, Maribeth was the co-chair of the Children’s Program at Friendship International. The missionary hymn “We’ve a Story to Tell to the Nations” was her theme.
Maribeth enjoyed a lifelong relationship with Georgetown College. She was the president of Sigma Kappa sorority, and then served for years as a chapter advisor, and as a fund-raiser for the current Sigma Kappa house. Maribeth was president of the Georgetown College Woman’s Association for four terms. She was president of the Alumni Association, received an Alumni Achievement Award, was granted an honorary Doctor of Letters, served on the Marshall Center Board, and served on the Georgetown College Board of Trustees. She and her husband are members of the Georgetown College Hall of Fame.
Maribeth was a member of Georgetown Baptist Church from the late 1940s until her death. She served as church secretary, was a longtime director of the Girls Auxiliary, and the Women’ Missionary Union (WMU), a Sunday School teacher and she was honored to be elected the first female deacon of the church in 1989. Her leadership in missions’ organizations spread beyond the local level as she led the Elkhorn Association WMU, was state president of the Kentucky WMU and served on national WMU boards.
On a personal level, Maribeth was a devout Christian, a champion of the poor and downtrodden, and instilled in those who knew her the values of service. She embodied the role of servant-leader.
Maribeth is survived by her son, Dr. Horace Porter Hambrick (Willow); her daughter, Mary Burch Ratliff (Dr. Wes); a lifelong friend and brother, Dr. Robert Jared Porter (Ina); a dear sister-in-law, Mary Hambrick Overall; eight grandchildren, Logan Christi Hambrick (Majid Noor), Amanda Rae Hambrick Ashcraft (Graham), Dr. Erin Porter Hambrick (Dr. Thomas Brawner), Gentry Blair Hambrick, Dr. Horace Rhodes Hambrick, Sarabeth Ratliff Pollom (John), Dr. Amy Ratliff Kessens (Kyle) and Michael Wesley Ratliff (Julie); 11 great-grandchildren; Amie Rae Katta, William Wesley Pollom, Charles Thomas Pollom, Zane Porter Hambrick Ashcraft, Levi Davis Hambrick Ashcraft, Avery Blair Brawner, Skyler Rae Hambrick Ashcraft, Abdimalik Rhodes Majid, Cora Burch Kessens, Rye Danford Brawner and Ada Margaret Kessens.
There will be a private graveside service in the Georgetown Cemetery, officiated by Reverend Ken Holden and Reverend Amanda Hambrick Ashcraft, on Saturday, July 31.
Pallbearers are: Michael Ratliff, Dr. Rhodes Hambrick, Asa Overall, Dr. Scott Weakley, John Pollom, Graham Ashcraft, Dr. Thomas Brawner, Kyle Kessens and Majid Noor.
Honorary Pallbearers: Jared Parsons, Jason Parsons, Kent Price, John Brandon Price, Sis Curry, Frankie Johnson, Betty Jean Chatham, Linda Smith Silvestri, Martin Pinkston, Rick Covington, Dr. Matt Birdwhistell and Dave Griffith.
The entire Hambrick Family wishes to extend their deep gratitude to Martha Wells, Carrie Johnson, Wilma Scott, Katie Bragg and Tiffany Wilhoite for their gracious and devoted care to Maribeth over the last years of her life.
In lieu of flowers: KY WMU Heritage Fund, P.O. Box 436389, Louisville, KY 40253-6389, Georgetown College, 400 E. College St., Georgetown, KY 40324 or the Woman’s Association of Georgetown College, at 400 E. College St., Box 306, Georgetown, KY 40324. Arrangements in care of Johnson’s Funeral Home. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.johnsonsfuneralhome.com.