ASHLAND After a serious house fire displaced an Ashland couple who had been married for nearly 75 years, they encountered a problem at a local dry cleaner.

Until a Good Samaritan comes along.

Jack Nuckols, 96, said he and his wife, Betty, 95, took about eight items to clean after being consumed by smoke, and the bill came to $137.

“We have money, but I was just struggling to find the right amount of money,” he said.

A man pulled up behind the Nuckols vehicle and noticed a sticker indicating Nuckols service in the Marines.

“He said, ‘Thank you for your service,’ and he paid our bill,” Nuckols said. “It’s just one of the nicest things you can do.”

Nuckols never got the man’s name, but he’s unyieldingly grateful.

Nuckols, who always travels well and even went to the Daily Independent on Tuesday to buy the Monday edition of the paper, said they “get on great and we don’t need the money”. He pointed it out repeatedly. He just wanted to share the story of the Good Samaritan.

The man who is only four years from the century has lived a “very interesting life”, as he put it. He is an accomplished drummer who has played for a number of well known bands including Woody Herman and His Orchestra.

“I’m more of a rhythm man, not really a soloist,” Nuckols said.

Nuckols went to Ashland High School, got his GED, served in World War II, attended college, then got married. During World War II, he was wounded at age 18.

Nuckols worked in management for FW Means and Company.

For most of their lives, the Nuckols duo lived in Ashland. But they resided in Lexington for 35 years. He’s a huge Kentucky Wildcats fan and even sported a blue Kentucky sweatshirt in support of the Cats on Tuesday afternoon, hours before they knocked out Ole Miss to complete a perfect roster at Rupp Arena this season. He beamed when asked about his beloved team and said they had a chance to make a deep run in March this year.

Jack and Betty Nuckols will celebrate 75 years of marital union in July.

Their house suffered a 90% loss. The fire occurred on February 2. They currently live with their son in South Point and could eventually build a small apartment on his loss.

Jack and Betty have one grandson, two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.

Again, he repeated, they are and have received a lot of help after the fire. He just wanted to share that there are still good and generous people.

(606) 326-2664 |

[email protected]