Ken Towery Joins Chapter Celestial

Louisville - Kenneth Woodrow Towery, 83, of Louisville passed away peacefully on March 13, 2020 at his residence with his family by his side. He was born July 13, 1936 in Berea, KY to the late Ralph Towery and the late Gladys Robinson Aldridge.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents, and his late wife Joyce Towery.

He will be greatly missed by his beloved wife of 17 years, Joanne; his daughter, Lorea Ware (Donald); his son, Kris Towery (Sarah); step-son, Michael Plichta (Nicole); five grandsons, Trey Ware (Lauren), Chandler Ware (Darby), Colin Plichta, Asher Plichta, Benjamin Towery; and three granddaughters, Madison Plichta, Katelyn Plichta, and Suzanna Towery.

Ken graduated from Male High School where he was a cheerleader, and a member of ROTC and the Glee Club. He fondly remembered the spring break trips where they would sing their way to Florida! His was the first graduating class to have girls in the class. Can you believe there was actually a picture of him in the old Louisville Times in 1952 protesting their admittance?! He later regretted the error of his ways and at the class 50th reunion presented each "girl" with a rose and his sincere apology. Ken was honored to be inducted into the Male High Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ken graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1959 with a bachelor's degree in Marketing. He was also a cheerleader at UK. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity, developing deep and lasting relationships with his "brothers". In 2004, he received the Kappa Sig Distinguished Alumnus Award and in 2015 was inducted into the Beta Nu Chapter Hall of Fame.

Following graduation, Ken went into the Executive Management program with Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. After 13 years of being promoted to positions with increasing responsibility, he was bit by the entrepreneurial bug and opened up his first Ken Towery's Firestone store on Dixie Hwy. Starting with only $500 and not even having a car (he had to give his company car back!), he grew the business to 30 Ken Towery Tire and AutoCare stores before selling the business in 2012. Ken's success can be attributed to his honesty, hard work and love of people. He always told his associates "Treat everyone as if they were your mother or your father". During his career, Ken served on the Executive Committee for the National Tire Dealers and Retread Association. In 2003, he was selected as a Finalist in the Southern Ohio & Kentucky Entrepreneur of the Year Award. And in 2008, he was honored as the National Tire Dealer of the Year, being selected from more than 28,000 tire dealers across the U.S. Ken was extraordinarily successful in business and leadership; however, he always made his family and friends the priority of his life.

Ken not only loved people but also loved God. He was passionate about taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth and supported that mission as a member of the Foundation of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2007, the Seminary awarded Ken and Joanne the Bruce Benton Distinguished Service Award. Ken was a member of Southeast Christian Church.

In his free time, Ken was an avid "water dog", purchasing his first boat when he was in college and continuing to be on the water through the years. He was a championship water skier, being the 43rd skier in the U.S. to ski barefoot. Although offered a job at Cypress Gardens, he was prudent even as a young man to turn down the offer and finish his degree at UK. Ken also loved fishing, his favorite spot being at his cabin on Barkley Lake.

Ken was a great dancer, as Joanne can attest, and it was how their romance started. Ken also liked to snow ski, play tennis and golf and travel. He and Joanne loved going on cruises. Ken held a private pilot's license and was multi-engine and instrument rated. But above all this, one of his greatest joys was just spending time with his family, particularly his grandchildren.

All in all, Ken loved life! One of his favorite passages of scripture was Psalm 34: 12-14: "Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Ken's family praises God for the many good days they had with Ken and looks forward to the day that they will be reunited with him through Jesus Christ.

Due to the outbreak of the Corona Virus, the family will have a private funeral service to respect government guidelines and help reduce the risk of future outbreaks.

Floral tributes and gifts are welcomed and may be sent to Ratterman Funeral Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, East Louisville. Expressions of sympathy in memory of Ken may also be made in the form of donations to the Southern Baptist Seminary, 2825 Lexington Road, Louisville, KY 40280.

Published in The Courier-Journal from Mar. 14 to Mar. 16, 2020