Deborah Larkin

Published 11:00 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

Deborah Larkin, 02/18/1952 – 08/25/2023, Danville, Kentucky

Deborah Larkin died peacefully Friday at University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington. She was the firstborn child of Clyde F. Larkin, II and Kitty Jane Larkin, and grew up in the Meadowthorpe neighborhood of Lexington. Her neighbors formed a tightknit community of playful parents and rollicking children she remembered with love all her life. Deborah graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in horticultural science and worked for 25 years as head horticulturist for Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. In her time, she was renowned for her knowledge of medicinal and native Kentucky plants. Her tours of Shaker gardens drew visitors from around the world and she hosted an heirloom festival each year, encouraging Kentuckians to exchange seeds and traditions to keep native plants alive. On her farm in Boyle County, she cultivated experimental moon gardens and butterfly gardens and fruit orchards that provided a bountiful table for her family. In her latter days, Deborah embraced a second career as environmental educator for Bluegrass Greensource, sharing her passion for all things bright and green with the children of Kentucky.

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She comes to us, now, whenever we see folks crouched in their gardens at dusk after a long day; and wherever old friends gather around kitchen tables to laugh and listen and be easy. And we look for her, too, whenever we hear the distant play of children, certain she is running by their side in joy. She is survived by her two children, Justin James Pope and Claire Larkin Pope, her grandchildren, Emden Seabolt, Willa Seabolt, and Theodore Pope, her brother, Clyde F. Larkin, III, and her loving nieces and nephews. Her service will be held Saturday, September 16th, 11 am, at the home of Janis, 3245 Harrodsburg Road, Danville, KY.