We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.
Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)
City of residence (upon passing)
State/province of residence (upon passing)
Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)
Date of death (day if known, month, year)
ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)
Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.
Barbara A. Appleby (née Berg)
August 10, 1958 — September 19, 2023
Barbara A. Appleby, 65, of Maplewood, passed away unexpectedly on September 19, 2023 while vacationing in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Barb was born in New Ulm, Minn., to Leo and Claire (Peuser) Berg. She graduated in 1977 from New Ulm Cathedral High School, and then attended Brainerd Community College.
In 1984 Barb married Bill Appleby, and they resided in Maplewood, Minn. She worked for Xcel Energy for 25 years and retired in 2017.
Barb’s hobbies included: book club, crocheting, collecting art, playing in a dart league for the blind, and caring for her various guide dogs over the years. Most of all, she loved animals and traveling.
Barb was a board member for ACB of Minnesota, a very generous donor to our affiliate, a great advocate for herself and others, and most importantly, a friend to everyone she met.
In addition to contracting Type 1 diabetes as a child, which led to Barb losing her sight, she had several other major health issues over her lifetime, but through it all, she never complained and fought each battle head on and with courage. Many people who knew Barb admired her drive and determination to overcome all her life’s challenges.
She is survived by her husband, Bill Appleby; father, Leo Berg of New Ulm, MN; sisters, Patty (Ken) Osborne of Sartell, MN, and Liz (Keith) Cooper of New Ulm, MN; niece, Samantha Steve; nephews, Parker Osborne, Alex Cooper, and Austin Cooper; and best friend and traveling partner, Wendi O’Neil. She is preceded in death by her mother, Claire Berg.
In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Barb’s name to Guide Dogs for the Blind, PO Box 151200, San Rafael, CA 94915, or to the Minnesota Humane Society, 475 N. Cleveland Ave., St. Paul, MN 55104.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Louisville has lost a local television personality best remembered for his years on WDRB, his distinctive voice and his vast knowledge of TV history.
Ray Foushee died on Thursday from complications of cancer. He was 72.
He joined our station in 1980 after making a name for himself at the Courier-Journal writing for the Saturday Scene section. Ray was an amazing TV historian who could remember the smallest detail or name actors that played obscure roles. His weekend column in the 1970s, called The TV Set, allowed him to answer just about any viewer question about one of his favorite topics.
Once Ray arrived at WDRB, he embraced his job as a promotions manager. He became the station’s first and most widely seen on-air personality. He hosted telethons, did in-studio movie intros, and hosted a wildly popular show called “TV As It Used to Be.” It was a special show that allowed Ray to reach back into the vaults and revisit popular shows from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. It was his dream come true.
Ray also introduced each night’s slate of programming and even giving background on shows. It amazed the audience with his wealth of knowledge.
It was Ray’s voice many would recognize. He did a lot of voicework for commercials on WDRB and even station announcements.
In 2001, Ray was appointed Director of Marketing, Research & Publicity. In that position, he helped promote the station, and he helped former general manager Bill Lamb write Point of View editorials. He retired from that position in 2018, after 38 years at WDRB.
Ray was here when WDRB was Fox 41, Louisville’s first independent television station that featured Shirley Temple movies, outdoor shows, westerns, sitcom reruns, a local children’s show featuring Presto the Magic Clown and the popular “Fright Night” hosted by the fearmonger, Charlie Kissinger.
After we learned of his passing, Ray’s beloved daughter shared childhood memories of hanging with her dad at the station after school.
“Everyone was so great to me when I would come in, so that place holds a special place in my heart, too. I was just telling my mom that as new people would come into the station, they weren’t new to him very long. He was just that type of person,” said Maggie Foushee Kaufman.
Ray joked on his social media pages that he was a “TV star,” and he was — at least in Louisville. He was so gracious and kind to viewers that would recognize him in public. He answered endless questions about TV from viewers that thought they could stump him.
During the era that WDRB aired University of Louisville sports, Ray became friends with Howard Schnellenberger. Always an entertainer, he could even do a great impression of the coach.
“I don’t know if he ever did his Howard Schnellenberger impression for you, but it was absolutely spot on! He spent a lot of time with Howard during his old AdCraft days! He had him down to a T. Everyone would smile and laugh when he would do it,” Maggie remembered.
Looking back on her relationship with her dad, Maggie said she learned a lot from the way he interacted with people. “It was more just the lesson that he taught throughout his and my life on how to be a genuinely good human. He was very impactful for me in that area, among other areas of course.”
Even after Ray retired and cleaned out the office filled with nearly four decades of memorabilia and promotional items, he still kept in touch with emails offering suggestions or gentle reminders about what he thought the station should be doing. He never stopped caring about WDRB.
Over the years, Ray also put his distinctive voice to work at the American Printing House for the Blind as a talking book narrator.
Ray was a Louisville native who went to Saint Xavier High School, Bellarmine University and the University of Kentucky.
He is survived by Jane, his wife of 44 years, his daughter Maggie Foushee Kaufman, her husband Chris, and his two grandchildren.
No funeral is planned, but a celebration of life will be planned for a later date.
Robert R. “Rob” Hill
August 10, 1944 - October 16, 2023
Robert Ralph Hill was an incredibly kind, compassionate and wonderful person. His love of singing, music and traveling were unparalleled. He enjoyed connecting with people, and spending time with his family and friends. He had a lifelong calling to help others and said, “It is very humbling to ask others for help. However, it also gives others a chance to be helpful and a way to connect with them.” He also had a profound love of learning.
Rob was born August 10, 1944 in Tulsa to Ralph Wesley Hill and Jennie Elizabeth Pinkston Hill. He graduated from Rogers High School and attended Brigham Young University and University of Tulsa for a few college courses, before graduating from Northeastern State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in psychology. He would continue to go to Tulsa Community College and audit classes, for no grade or credit, throughout his life because he loved learning.
Rob drove a 1956 Chevy before completely losing his eyesight. He then taught himself how to read and write in braille. Rob never allowed his disability to inhibit his life, relationships with others, or accomplishing what he wanted to do in life. His travels are proof of that! His travels took him all around the world to places like Austria, France, England and the Netherlands, just to name a few. In 1981, he received the Service to Mankind Award for Significant and Meritorious Service to Mankind by the Tulsa Police. He retired from Tulsa’s Helpline as a Mental Health Crisis Specialist, and he was also a ham radio licensee. Rob was an active member in his church, First Lutheran, and an active member in the church choir. He was a regular performer of “The Messiah” and brought joy to many people with his vocal abilities.
Rob transitioned from this life on October 16, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Valerie Patricia Hill. Surviving are his brother Larry Hill (Jackie Hill); niece Tonya Thompson; nephew Tommy Thompson; niece Jennie Price (Chris); great-nephews Easton and Westley Price, along with a great many beloved cousins. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to https://blindlgbtpride.org/donate.