Friday, March 7, 1997
Mother, daughter
died together

Memories and tears
for four killed in Falmouth

BY JANE PRENDERGAST and KATHLEEN HILLENMEYER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FALMOUTH - Math wasn't Crystal McGovney's best subject. But the eighth-grader got homework help in the evenings from her mom, Hazel, and she was doing better.

The shy 14-year-old is the youngest of the four people who have been found dead after flood waters engulfed much of Falmouth last weekend. She and her mother were found together Wednesday in a house trailer on Wilson Street.

''Oh, my word, she was a little mouse,'' said Ann Naylor, Crystal's math teacher at Pendleton County Middle School. ''Very quiet. She was a sweetheart.''

The trailer was the home of a friend. The McGovneys had been ordered to evacuate their own home off Ky. 22. The friend who lived in the trailer left in time.

Hazel McGovney was a hard-working, independent woman who supported herself and her daughter with various jobs. Melvin Courtney said he and Hazel collected cans together along Falmouth's roads.

''Crystal was her world,'' said Becky Fogle, owner of Becky's Flower Basket. ''That's all Hazel had was Crystal.''

Two other people also were killed - George Florence Jr., in his Wilson Street trailer, and Elizabeth Kraczek, in her Montjoy Street home. Mrs. Kraczek was the first body search crews discovered Tuesday. Officials have finished a house-by-house search.

Mr. Florence, 53, talked with his daughter, Theresa Horton, by phone around 2 a.m. Sunday as the water inched up the walls of the mobile home. As he complained to her about his difficulties escaping the rising water, the phones clicked off.

''It came in too swiftly,'' said Mrs. Horton, 27, of Florence.

Mr. Florence also is survived by his parents, George and Wilma Florence of Falmouth; sons Gary of Florence and Steven of Newport; and his former wife, Rozanna Florence of Morningview. He was a merchandise handler for Levi Strauss in Boone County.

Visitation is Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Cooper Funeral Home, 16 W. Clay Ridge Road, Grants Lick. The funeral is 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

''He was a wonderful man and a loving father and we all love him very much,'' Mrs. Horton said.

Tears welled up in Betty Mastin's eyes as she remembered Mrs. Kraczek. She recalled seeing the older woman outside her house during visits downtown to see her mother-in-law.

Mrs. Kraczek was a ''spry little lady'' with a European accent, Mrs. Mastin said. She remembered her for the afghans and doilies she crocheted to supplement her income, and for seldom leaving her one-story home.

''She was the best-hearted little thing,'' Mrs. Mastin said. ''(I had) been worried to death about her.''

Reporter Lucy May contributed to this report.

FLOOD STORIES
FLOOD PHOTOS