Wilma Barnstable leaves lasting legacy in Lexington

Barnstable passed away over the weekend at the age of 94

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Wilma Haverly Barnstable or “Wil” those close would call her, was a woman who some say could not sit still, and always had to be doing something.

Barnstable passed away over the weekend at the age of 94.

The legacy she leaves behind, runs as deep as her love for the University of Kentucky.

“My mother was a child of Eastern Kentucky, she was born in Corbin, grew up there, that’s where she got her foundation of who she was,” says her daughter, Barbara Edelman.

A child of the east, with many abilities, from singing, to becoming a pianist, a seamstress and a teacher.

“At 16, she boarded a train from Corbin and came to Lexington. She enrolled at the University of Kentucky and fell in love with the University of Kentucky, it all started then and remained one of the absolute big drivers of her life was her love of UK,” adds Edelman.

A lifetime fan of UK, her passion for the Wildcats ran strong even into her final days.

“She was still giving coaching tips, she was excited about the new players, she always knew all of them. She always was giving advice on what they should do and not do, I don’t know how Coach Cal will make it without her,” also said Edelman.

Her love for giving back inspired her to do more than just send money to organizations, so she went a step further especially after retirement.

“After she retired in that’s when she helped along with my sisters founding the Barnstable Brown Gala in Louisville, which was the world’s best Derby party,” says Edelman, a prime example of raising money for a good cause.

Combining her love for big blue and her devotion to helping others, raising and donating millions of dollars to help establish the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center at UK HealthCare.

“Because of the terrible effects of diabetes in Kentucky, and a lot of people, particularly in Eastern Kentucky, suffering from diabetes with no solutions, and but with some treatment, but just the fact that she was maybe able to make an impact or a difference. That’s what drove her,” adds Edelman.

ABC 36 News reached out to Suzie Rasmus on the legacy of Barnstable, “I think that that just shows the spirit of Eastern, southeastern Kentucky, we take care of each other. And we’re always thinking about service to others.”

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton also sharing her condolences, “Wilma Barnstable improved the lives of thousands of Kentuckians through her tireless support for the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center. Thanks to the generosity of the Barnstable Brown family, patients with diabetes in Kentucky receive the highest level of patient care.”

Barnstable’s visitation is set for Sunday, Nov. 6 at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church in Lexington at 1 p.m. followed by a brief service at 2.

Donations may be sent in her honor to:

Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center
UK Healthcare
PO Box 34184
Lexington, Kentucky 40588

For more information on the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center, click here.

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