John Merle Cody

Published 10:09 am Monday, June 12, 2023

John Merle Cody, Pappaw John, passed away peacefully with his loving wife, family, and pastor by his side on Wednesday,  June 7, 2023.  John had spent the last two months fighting a courageous battle with a rare lung cancer.

John lived a rich life; he was united in marriage with Sue (Lewis) Cody on August 11, 1968 and they lived a beautiful, Christ-centered life, enjoying 54 years of marriage. John and Sue raised their family in Evarts Kentucky, spending 69 years of his life as a resident of Harlan County. In 2009 he and Sue moved to Corbin, Kentucky. They quickly became active members of Central Baptist Church as John helped with going on mission trips, helping in Vacation Bible School and serving as Chairman of the Trustee committee and as a deacon. He was known for his dedication to whatever he was involved in and attention to details.

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He served as a deacon at Evarts Baptist Church for over 25 years and continued serving at Central Baptist in Corbin until present. John was a Kentucky Farm Bureau franchise co-owner in Harlan County where he worked for 26 years, served as mayor of Evarts, and was a veteran of the U.S. Army. John was also a  Kentucky Colonel, a Mason, a Duke of Hazard, and a Shriner, all of which he took great pride in. John loved fishing, grilling the perfect steak, gardening, wearing funny socks, cheering for the University of Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, talking to his neighbors and friends and above all, spending time with his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents George and Abigail Cody, brothers Bilford “Speck” Cody and William “Bill” Cody, and sisters Marie (James) Ramey, Lola (Buford /Bud) Stewart, Elva Lena (Charles/Mac) McBee, and Eula Mae Roper.

He is survived by his loving wife, Sue Cody; sisters Diana (Mike) Triggs and Vickie (Steve) Puckett, brother Don Cody, sister-in-law Linda (John) Ozbun, and Mary (Jim) Furr, oldest daughter Deanna Cody Miniard (husband, Chris Miniard), middle daughter Robyn Cody Bingham (husband Christopher Bingham), and baby daughter Shannon Cody Ellington, grandchildren Delaney Miniard Browning (husband Benjamin Browning), Lyndsee and Emily Miniard, Nathaniel, John Nicholas, and Addison Bingham, Mesa Ellington Smith (husband Eric Smith), Ainsley Ellington Carroll (husband Cody Carroll) great grandchildren Evie and Ellie Carroll, Elise Smith, Levi Christopher Lynch and countless special nieces,  nephews, other family, and friends. And his beagle that adopted and  loved him so much, Buddy.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the building fund at Central Baptist Church 201

West 4th Street, Corbin, Kentucky 40701.

The family would like to express their gratitude to the staff of Baptist Health Corbin and especially for the third floor nursing staff for the compassionate care they provided John in his last days.

John will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him, and his family will receive anyone wishing to pay their respects Sunday, June 11 2023 at Central Baptist Church Corbin, Kentucky.  Visitation will be from 2-4 p.m., funeral service  at 4 p.m..

Burial will follow on Monday, June 12 at 11 a.m at the Resthaven Cemetery in Baxter Kentucky with a service in the outdoor chapel with military honors and Dr. Josh Pollitt officiating.

Pallbearers are Nathaniel Bingham, John Nicholas Bingham, Christopher Bingham, Chris Miniard, Benjamin Browning, Cody Carroll, and Eric Smith. Honorary pallbearers include deacons of Central Baptist Church.

Dr. Josh Pollitt will be conducting the funeral services and Kelly and Steven Lowe providing music. Special thanks to Central Baptist Church for their hospitality and love.

Arrangements by the Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home in Corbin, Kentucky

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John, please visit our floral store.