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Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr., 84
Obit Kelly marlowe.jpg

Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr., 84, was born May 1, 1938 and died Jan. 31, 2023 at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville following a brief illness.           

He was the son of the late Kelly Walton Marlow, Sr. and Liza Hillis Wells.  He was married to Gwen Marlowe on Jan. 4, 1970. She preceded him in death on Feb. 15, 2010.  In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his son, Scott Marlowe; brothers, Joe Marlow, Roger Wells and Thomas Marlowe; sister, Patricia Pitcher and step-father, Shirley Wells.

A lifelong resident of McMinnville and Warren County, Kelly began his career working at Cook’s Department Store but soon opened his own store, Kelly’s Men’s Store, and was for many years a stalwart member of the McMinnville Business Community. Later in life, he worked in the insurance business and in local radio.

He was perhaps best known for his work as a beloved local radio host where, for decades, he and his co-hosts on shows such as Town Talk, Swap & Shop, and Behind the Mic carried on a never-ending conversation with their loyal listeners about every topic under the sun.

Kelly’s contributions to our local community extended far beyond the business world. As a member and contributor to many civic organizations throughout his life, including the Jaycees, Lion’s Club and the March of Dimes, Kelly always worked to make McMinnville a better place. He was a devoted lifetime member of Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church who always enjoyed singing in the choir.  Every year to the very end of his life, he worked tirelessly to organize his Nursing Home Christmas, a cause which was very close to his heart.

In his spare time, he was an avid golfer and a member of the Southern Gospel quartet The Harmony Echoes. As many generations of local residents can attest, he was always quick with a smile, a joke or a helping hand when one was needed.

Mr. Marlowe is survived by two children, Gina (Ron) Moore of Decherd, Tenn. and Camilla (Ritchey) Rhea of Rock Island; grandchildren, Christopher Marlowe (Sera), Ross Marlowe (Katelyn), Nathan Maxwell, Karen Marlowe, Allison Maxwell and Melyssa (Ben) Salter; great-grandchildren, Tessilyn West, Sadie Cross and Charlie Gwen Marlowe and lots of cousins, nieces, nephews and many, many friends.

Funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5 at Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church with Willard Ralph, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Liberty Cemetery in Warren County. Visitation will be Saturday from noon until 8 p.m. at High Funeral Home and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. until 2 p.m. at Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Nursing Home Christmas in care of High Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be made at

High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Southern Standard

(McMinnville, Tenn.) February 3, 2023