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Erma Crystal Allen was born January 10, 1936 at Cannel City, Ky – the daughter of Elijah and Ethel Davis Allen - the youngest of 8 children. Remaining in Morgan County, the family moved to Murphy Fork soon after where Erma grew up with doting brothers and sisters and the hard work of a family farm.
Erma graduated from Ezel High School in 1954 and began clerical work in West Liberty, where she met the love of her life George Fannin - although she initially refused his offers of a date! Following his persistence – including the timing of his lunch hour to be sure to walk in front of her work window – their whirlwind courtship resulted in marriage on February 24, 1956. They were partners for life, even after his passing in 2001.
To this union, two daughters were born – Robin Lynn Fannin (Meg Adkins), Lexington, Ky and Sarah George Fannin of Index, Ky. Erma loved being a mother to Robin and Sarah, as well as a second mother to many others including Linda Frisby and Wanda Knox. She passed peacefully Saturday, January 20th surrounded by Sarah, Robin, Meg and her Hospice nurse and special friend Melanie - who were honored to usher her homecoming with the singing of her favorite hymns. She passed in the Lexington, Ky home of Robin and Meg where she had been lovingly cared for, with additional help from Sarah, since a heart attack in September 2021.
Erma and George began their spiritual path together during a revival at Index Community Church on October 28 followed by baptism on November 9 of 1966. Their love for Christian missions – both here and abroad – led them to Africa and Honduras. Their first plane ride was to Tanzania – noting that it never occurred to them to be nervous.
Their partnership also included the establishment of Fannin’s Vegetable Market in 1996. The two tirelessly grew their business from a picnic table under a shade tree to a 15 acre commercial vegetable operation with roadside market. Erma was known for her magical touch with plants, fast bean picking and holding every baby that visited the stand. The couple truly cared for and appreciated every customer.
Erma also enjoyed watching and feeding birds, growing flowers, working jigsaw puzzles, watching UK basketball, traveling and the love of her Yorkie dog, Benji, who got away with more mischief than her daughters ever did!
Erma was also preceded in passing by her brothers and sisters: Earnest (Beatrice) Allen, Erie (Glen) Walton, Edith (George) Bryanton, Eva (Doye) Perkins, Elizabeth (Walter) Oldfield, Everett (Merna) Allen, and Esther Clark (Bill) Spaulding.
She is survived by her brother in laws – Farrell Fannin (Mary) and Boyd Spaulding, cousin in laws Sam Long and Everett Long and cousin Herky (Ruth) Allen, along with several special nieces and nephews including Teresa (David) Cole and Sue Spurlock whose phone calls and cards were a continuous highlight of her week for many years.
We are grateful for the support and friendship she received over the past several years from Teddy Peyton, Home Instead, Inc. caregivers Brenda Holland and Wilma Matthews. A special thank you to her medical team Dr. Kevin Holbrook, Wendy Lykins Frederick and Dr. Jennifer Skorupa.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 24th at 12:Noon at the Herald, Stewart & Halsey Chapel. The service will be led by Elder Tom Steele and livestreamed on Facebook. Interment will be at the Ezel Cemetery. Ezel, KY. Visitation, 6:00pm,Tuesday at Herald & Stewart & Halsey Funeral Home, West Liberty, KY.
Pallbearers: John Allen, Rick Allen, Brad Cole, David Cole, George Elam, Barry Frisby, Jerry Fugate, Kenneth Knox . Honorary pallbearers, Sam Long, Farrell Fannin, Darren "Bossman" Frisby, nieces and nephews and the many friends of Fannin's Market.
A meal will be provided at the Index Community Center by Index Community Church, Lacy Creek Church of Christ, and Woodsbend Community Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to: West Liberty Veterinary Clinic Good Samaritan Fund POB 66 West Liberty, Ky 41472. Woodsbend Community Church Missionary Fund 1078 Grassy Creek Road, Grassy Creek, KY 41352 Bluegrass Care Navigators Hospice, 1733 Harrodsburg Road, Lexington, KY 40504.