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Vivian K. Tarter, Dunnville, KY (1926-2011)

Matriarch of the Tarter Gate family was a pillar of the Dunnville Community and of the Dunnville Christian Church. She worked in top management in the massive Tarter Gate Company, the major industry in the Casey-Adair-Russell Counties area around Dunnville, KY, for 66 years.
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Vivian K. Tarter, 85, matriarch of the Tarter Gate family, died on February 18, 2011 at Ephraim McDowell Hospital in Danville, KY where she had been a patient since February 12, 2011

Funeral services are 11amET/10amCT, Monday, February 21, 2011, at the Dunnville Christian Church by Bro. Paul Viers. Burial is in Salem Cemetery. Visitation was Sunday February 20 from 6:00-9:00pmET/5-8pmCT. at the Dunnville Christian Church, 11000 U.S. 127, Dunnville, KY (MAP), Dunnville, KY. and will continue on Monday until funeral service. McKinney-Brown Funeral Home, 752 Campbellsville ST, Liberty, KY, is in charge of arrangements.

Vivian K. Tarter, Dunnville, KY (1926-2011)

Vivian K. Tarter was born on Wednesday, February 3, 1926 in Elmwood Place, Hamilton Co., OH, to Flora Jet and Stella Norman Keith who were both originally from Casey Co., KY. She died Friday, February 18, 2011, in Danville, Boyle Co., KY, at the age of 85 years, and 15 days.

The family moved back to Casey County when Vivian was very young and she and her sister, Beulah, grew up on the family farm on Riffe Creek in Casey County. Vivian graduated from Liberty High School in Casey County on May 7, 1942.

On December 21, 1945 she married Roger Tarter after his three-year stint in the Air Force and they moved to Dunnville. To this union two sons, Donald and David Tarter, were born.

Vivian entered into the family farm gate business started by Roger's father, C.V. Tarter, in 1940 in Dunnville, KY. They made wooden farm gates by hand and sold them throughout the local and surrounding areas. Roger and Vivian bought the business in 1948 and they, along with their sons, expanded the business (now called Tarter Farm and Ranch) over the years.

When she started working at Tarter Gate in 1945 Vivian didn't realize that she would be working there for 66 years. She was an active and full-time member of the staff until February 11, 2011. She always arrived at the main office at 6:30am and left at 4:30pm, five days a week. Her desk in the front office allowed her to keep an eye on the comings and goings of the business. A 10-hour per day work schedule would have tired most people half her age but she thrived on hard work and she was dedicated to the business and her family.

She was a tough-minded businesswoman who dealt with Japanese steel businessmen back in the early 1970s, something unheard of in those days. Over the years she dealt with salesmen, gate haulers, and politicians with equal aplomb. In addition to being the consummate businesswoman, she was the heart and soul of the company. She was known to be gracious, fair-minded, compassionate, and generous to a fault.

Vivian was a pillar of her community, Casey County, and Dunnville Christian Church where she had been a member most of her life.

She is survived by the following:
  • Sons: Donald (and Joy) Tarter and David Tarter

  • Grandchildren: Keith (and Jenny) Tarter, Nell (and Charles) Duggins, Joshua (and Jennifer) Tarter, Douglas (and J.J.) Tarter, Luann (and Jason) Leveridge

  • Former daughter-in-law: Anna Lou Smith

  • Eight great-grandchildren
  • Four step-great-grandchildren

  • and a great-niece
She was preceded in death by her sister, Beulah Keith Pierce; nephew, William Pierce; and her former husband, Roger Tarter.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Dunnville Christian Church. Obituary courtesy McKinney-Brown Funeral Home. Written by Joberta Wells

This story was posted on 2011-02-20 23:06:11
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
Located one block off the Square at 200 Campbellsville Street in Columbia, KY.
To reach David and Cathy Martin, phone (270)-384-2149, or e-mail:
Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

G & G Monuments
Todd and Mandi Green and Jared Conover
1670 Liberty Road, Columbia, KY. email:, 270-634-0359
First Quality Marble and Granite

Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Vivian K. Tarter, Dunnville, KY (1926-2011)

2011-02-20 - 752 Campbellsville RD, Liberty, KY - Photo from McKinney-Brown Funeral Home.
Vivian K. Tarter, Dunnville, KY (1926-2011)

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