Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

November 30, 2012

Fout hailed for efforts working as volunteer

ASHLAND — Jim Fout is being praised for his passion, accomplishments and  dedication by those who worked closely with hims through River Cities Harvest, the Ashland Tennis Center and his many other activities during his long life.

Fout died Wednesday at Community Hospice Care Center in Ashland. He was 84.

In 1991, Fout co-founded River Cities Harvest, a nonprofit organization that distributes food to community agencies that feed the hungry.  Fout and his wife, Helen, remained one of the organization’s most active volunteers until just days before his death.

“He was a superb mentor and an inspiration to me,” said Bob Owen, the part-time coordinator of River Cities Harvest. “I learned so much from him. To me, Jim Fout was River Cities Harvest. Without him this organization simply would not exist.”

Fout was a master of organizing,  Owen said. Because of those skills, the food collected during the postal workers’ annual “Stamp Out Hunger” drive in May and the tons of food brought to Ashland each summer on a semi-trailer from Feed the Children  — a donation made possible by Naomi Judd — were immediately distributed to local agencies that feed the hungry.

“He really knew how to get things done,” Owen said of Fout.

Amanda Gilmore preceded Owen as coordinator of River Cities Harvest.

“Jim gave tirelessly of himself for decades to help feed our region's hungriest folks,” Gilmore said of Fout. “I first met him when I wrote about that organization's efforts, and later worked with him as a member of the RCH board. He also loved to read and was a huge history buff, so I was fortunate to be able to see him frequently the past few years at the library where I work. A kind man with a giving heart, Jim taught me a lot about ways we can all help each other.”

Jerry Groce, director of the Ashland Tennis Center, there is no question that Fout was the center’s most dedicated volunteer and loyal supporter.

“Jim and Helen Fout mowed the grass and trimmed the shrubbery at the center,” said Groce. “He fixed the roof and even did some plumbing. Jim was one of those guys who if he didn’t know how to do something, he would learn how just so it could get done. I can’t imagine what the tennis center would be like today without Jim Fout.”

Fout also organized in schools throughout Kentucky a United States Tennis Association program that taught tennis to children in school, Groce said. More than 5,000 young Kentuckians learned to play tennis through that program.

Groce said Fout was an excellent tennis player who helped make him a better player. “He was a great athlete” who played tennis competitively until last year, he said.

Educator and community activist Bill Burch said he often played tennis with Fout and knew firsthand just how good of player he was. As a member of the Ashland Breakfast Kiwanis Club, Burch worked closely with Fout on the annual food drive the club sponsors during Summer Motion. In the early years, Judd participated in that collection effort, but it has continued long past her active involvement.

Burch said the deaths of Fout and his good friend Howard VanAntwerp are a great loss. “They were two pillars  of this community who did more than most people realize. People like them cannot be easily replaced.”

Burch said Fout never bragged about his achievements and even some of his good friends never knew he had played football for the Ohio State Buckeyes.”

  “He was one of the most humble men I have ever met,” Owen said of Fout. “He never did anything for his own glory. He did it simply because he cared and wanted to help others. We can all learn from that.”

JOHN CANNON can be reached at

jcannon@dailyindependent.com or at (606) 326-2649.

Text Only
Local News
  • Boyd Democrats take floor at Elks

    Boyd County Democrats met at the Elks Lodge for a matchup between candidates for two of the hottest primary races in Boyd County: sheriff and judge-executive.
    The candidates, sponsored by the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club, each took to the podium to face the crowd Tuesday night and discuss the candidacy and platforms for the race that is still over a month away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Shay receives 38 years for fatal shooting

    Casey R. Shay, 27, of Morehead, was sentenced Monday to 38 years in prison for the fatal shooting last year of Cassandra M. “Cassie” Owens, 21.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416homegarden.jpg Space not problem with home garden

    Growing your own dinner is not a concept lost on Kenny Imel.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Greenup court jumpstarts road repairs

    As part of the Greenup County Fiscal Court’s annual expenses, the court approved the first reading of an ordinance that allots up to $1.5 million for blacktopping damaged county roads.

    April 15, 2014

  • Nursing home reports drug theft to APD

    Woodland Oaks Health Care Facility, 1820 Oakview Road, on Monday reported the theft of 30 hydrocodone tablets from a secured area within the nursing home.

    April 15, 2014

  • Devices left from previous construction discovered

    All four lanes of U.S. 23 were shut down for nearly two hours Tuesday following the discovery of old explosives on a hillside rock cut.
    The devices apparently were left over from a previous construction project and were discovered by a crew working on the new Ironton-Russell Bridge, Russell Police Chief Tim Wilson said.

    April 15, 2014

  • Boyd walk to raise awareness of autism

    The differences in the nine children in Carla Malone’s classroom are striking.
    A few can talk, but some won’t make a sound and others jabber apparent nonsense sounds.
    There are playful children and those who keep to themselves. Some of the children can read and do other academic tasks. Schoolwork for others means matching pictures and doing exercises to develop fine motor skills, like learning to hold a pencil.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • 0416explosives0166 copy.jpg UPDATE: U.S. 23 reopened; explosives eliminated

    More information on the U.S. 23 closure from the the Kentucky Department of Highways.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • BREAKING: Explosives find shuts down U.S. 23

    All four lanes of U.S. 23 have been shut down to the discovery of undetonated explosives on a hillside, authorities said.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone