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Professor Kenny Rowlette: R.I.P.

Posted By Old Virginia Blog
Date Friday, 26 October 2018, at 8:30 p.m.
UPDATE: Kenny's obituary from the Lynchburg News-Advance:

Kenny G. Rowlette, 67, of Forest, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, October 26, 2018. He was a small town man from Berea, Ky. He graduated from Berea College where he met the love of his life, Ann, with whom he spent the last 47 years. He was a member of Thomas Road Baptist Church since 1980 and an English professor at Liberty University for 33 years. For the last five years, he worked at the Jerry Falwell Library where he completed the work he was called to do. He had a love for American history, especially of the Civil War period. He was a special speaker at numerous organizations. He was the co-founder and director of the Civil War Chaplains Museum. He was an honorary member of the MOWW, a member of the Lynchburg Civil War Round Table, and was also a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as well as the Sons of Union Veterans. He is survived by his loving wife, Ann Rowlette; his daughters, Delanie Stephenson and her husband, Curtis, and Karen Beatty and her husband, Ben; four grandchildren who were the lights of PaPaw's life, Katie, Ty, Alex, and Jack; his sisters, Glenna Price, Colette Ingram, and Melinda Rowlette; his brother, James Rowlette; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Roscoe and Joyce Edwards; and numerous nieces, nephews, sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. Services will be held at the Old Thomas Road Baptist Church, Pate Chapel, on Monday, October 29, 2018, at 2 p.m. with Pastor Jonathan Falwell officiating. Friends may call from 12 to 2 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow the service at Virginia Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the National Civil War Chaplains Museum at Liberty University or the American Heart Association. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.

End of update.


It is with great sadness in my heart that I share with readers of this blog the sudden and unexpected passing of my colleague and friend, Dr. Kenny Rowlette. It was Kenny who first invited me to speak (several times) at Liberty University's long-running annual Civil War seminar and who invited me to serve on the board of trustees for the National Civil War Chaplains Museum.

He was a very dear friend, a true scholar of the American Civil War and one of the most humble, kind and accommodating persons one could ever hope to meet in this life. He was also a dear brother in Christ. Sadly, I had just planned a visit to the museum for next Friday as I was going to lead a homeschool group of kids and parents to the museum in Lynchburg and Kenny was going to serve as our personal guide. He was so excited that I was bringing a group for a visit. The museum would never have come to fruition without his dedication. I fear what may happen to it now.

A mutual friend told me a little while ago that Kenny passed away earlier today from an apparent heart attack at his desk while working. He would have wanted it no other way.

Kenny had ancestors who fought on both sides of the War Between the States and used to say he was an "SOB" - son of both. His optimism and humor will be sorely missed. 

I'll have more to say about this later.

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