Public memorial service announced for Herman Webb

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Herman Webb, brother to legendary country singer Loretta Lynn died early Saturday morning. Webb battled a serious illness. However, before he fell ill, he was known for running a grocery store, giving tours through his childhood home and his love for animals.

Herman grew up on Butcher Hollow in Van Lear. "They were raised poor," said Tina Webb. She told WYMT, she has known Herman for more than 20 years.

One of seven brothers and sisters, Herman loved to play music. Especially along-side his sisters Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle. "He loved playing music, you know. Me (sic) and him played music together a time or two," said long-time friend Mack Lowe.

Mack helped Herman out with a hodgepodge of things around his home. From feeding the horses to helping tour people through the tourist hot-spot known as Loretta Lynn's childhood home.

A serious illness put Herman in the hospital. "I was heartbroken, you know. Really and truthfully, heartbroken," said Mack.

83-year-old Herman Webb took his last breath surrounded by his children at Kings Daughters Medical Center in Ashland. "Sad time in Van Lear, sad time," Tina.

Now, those who knew Herman reflect on the good days. "I would sit and listen to him for hours at a time," recalled Mack.

They say many tourists returned to the old home just to talk to Herman.

"I've had them from about every state. I've had them from Japan, Ireland, Scotland," said Herman in an interview with WYMT in 2016.

"He was a sweetheart. Really and truthfully, it doesn't get any better," said Mack.

They say the stories he told could fill chapters in a book. "No better storyteller than Herman Webb, that's for sure," Mack said.

Herman took over Webb's Grocery around 1976. They say the store still embodies his old-soul spirit. "He wanted you to feel at home when you come here. That's the way it was," said Mack.

A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday August 4 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Johnson County Animal Shelter or the Mountain Arts Center by contacting the Phelps & Son Funeral Home, (606)789-8989.

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