Members inducted to Pineville Schools HOF

Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2017

This is part two of the Pineville Hall of Fame series. This article covers the remaining members of those inducted into the hall of fame over the weekend.

Florence Roe “Pokie” Bush

Florence Bush graduated from Pineville High School in 1936. In 1940, she graduated from Georgetown College with a B.A. in English. She was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She began working on a master’s degree at Indiana State Teachers College and completed it at Union College.

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After making a home at several Air Force bases with her husband Fred Bush, they moved their family back to Pineville. In 1957, she began a life-long career in the Pineville City School System. She taught the fifth grade. In 1960, she began teaching English in the Jr. High.

Bush retired in 1979. She later served on the Pineville Library Board, was a Brownie Scout leader and in 2001 was named “Woman of the Year.” She was an active member of the SAR and served as president. She also published “Small Talk” — a book about her early years in Pineville.

John E. Mason

John Mason, son of Ada and John Mason Sr. was born in Pineville on June 28, 1936. Mason became a dominating lineman, lettering four years for the Mountain Lions in football and a star basketball player, lettering four years as a center/forward.

As a sophomore tackle playing for the undefeated Lions in 1953, Mason was selected to the Honorable Mention All-SEKC team. As a junior playing for the 7-1 Mountain Lions, his team was ranked No. 1 in the state, defeated Middlesboro 80-0 and ended a second consecutive season as SEKC champs. He was named tackle on the third-team All-SEKC.

During his senior season, the Lions won a third consecutive SEKC championship. Mason was named captain of the team and was named first-team All-SEKC, first-team All-State, and was chosen to play in the East-West All-Star Game.

Mason received several letters from UK; however, he chose to marry his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Bond. The two of them began a 55-year commitment in Lexington.

Barbara Ann Hoskins Evans

With a measure of faith, an overwhelming abundance of love, and a desire to be self-reliant, Barbara Evans has lived a life of service and compassion for her fellowman. As a result of determination and self-reliance, she and her husband built a prosperous business that provided work for hundreds of families in Bell and Knox counties.

As a result of her compassion, Evans has seen to the needs of the community of Pineville and the children in the Pineville School System, which she attended in the 1950s. She has never forgotten her roots, and to this day continues to contribute to the needs of the community of Pineville and the Pineville School System — supporting basketball and football programs, cheerleaders, senior trips, prom, purchasing flowers for graduation and much more.

Evans’ name is synonymous with the Pineville Boosters Club, supporting the raffle and all the booster activities. She is the leading financier of the Pineville Schools Hall of Fame. Most Pinevillians do not realize what Evans has committed to and been a part of for the past 40 years, simply because she desires to remain anonymous with her support and donations of the Pineville School System.

William Neal “Bud” Bennett, III MD

William Bennett III attended Pineville City School during his formative years and was named salutatorian of the 1947 class. He lettered in football and basketball five years. During his junior football season, he broke a vertebrae but came back to play his senior year. He was selected quarterback of the 1946 All-CVC First-Team and the 1946 Honorable Mention All-State Team by the Courier Journal.

Bennett received a full athletic/academic scholarship as a trainer for the football and swim teams at EKU. He later attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine and graduated in 1954.

Bennett practiced general medicine in Middlesboro and then served in the USAF and the Kentucky National Guard as a Flight Surgeon. He was promoted to Lt. Colonel. He was chosen as the flight surgeon for “Operation Long Legs” to Argentina with Gen. Curtis LeMay, the USAF Thunderbirds and B-47 Bombers.

Bennett practiced medicine as an anesthesiologist at Methodist Hospital in Louisville from 1960 to 1993, where he became President of the Anesthesia Department and a life-long member of the AMA, Kentucky Medical Association and Jefferson Medical Society.

Throughout his life, Bennett maintained a great connection with Pineville. He was a supporter of the Mountain Laurel Festival, serving as director for many years.

Valerie “Val” Saunders

Valerie Saunders spent her lifetime in various capacities, giving back to the school she attended, and partnering with the city that nurtured her. She graduated from PHS in 1945, and left Pineville long enough to earn a B.A. at the University of Kentucky — where she was active in the Student Government and the Tri Delta Sorority.

Saunders received a master’s degree from Union College and a Rank 1 in administration from EKU. In 1949, she was hired by the Pineville Schools to teach English, maintaining that position until the 60s. She then became principal of the junior high.

In the 70s, she was named assistant high school principal and in the 80s Director of Pupil Personnel and Curriculum Supervisor. She gave 34 years to the Pineville School System and retired in 1984, to come back one more year as part-time Director of Pupil Personnel.

Saunders was also very active in civic matters: serving on the Pineville Library Board, a member of the Bell County Chamber of Commerce, chairperson of the 1965 Mountain Laurel Festival, and a member of the Board of Directors of the KMLF.