The GOWDY Family

Kenneth K. Gowdy Submission
My father Fred, left Blue Mountain about 1920 to join the Navy.  After his tour he went to Memphis where his older brother, Herbert was working.  He worked for awhile in the Ford plant and then obtained a job with the Memphis Fire Dept.  My mother's family (King) was from Choctaw County, MS, but moved to Poinsett County, AR in 1918.   At a young age Mother (Etna) went to Memphis with an older sister where they obtained jobs with the telephone company.  There she met dad and they were married in 1926.  They had three sons: Fred Wayne Gowdy - 1928, Robert Lewis Gowdy - 1930 and Kenneth King Gowdy - 1932.

At the time of my birth we were living at 872 Carson (just off Park Ave) which was near Bunton(?) and the Memphis County Country Club. My dad was promoted to Lieutenant in the fire dept and was in the process of being promoted to Captain when he died of pneumonia in the hospital in January 1935.

Mother then went to be a beautician school and proceeded to open a beauty shop in the two front rooms of our home.  In this manner she was able to raise us by herself until we left Memphis in 1946.  During WWII she met an army officer from Kansas - Ed Pilcher - who was stationed for a short period in Memphis.  They were married in 1942 and have two children, Pat and Dan, who both now live in Denver.  Mother and Ed died during the 70's.

Fred, Robert and I attended school at Messick (it had 12 grades) which was near Normal and the Memphis State campus.  We were very active in sports and had early morning paper routes with the Commercial Appeal.

Fred graduated in 1946 and attended LSU on a football scholarship where he received an engineering degree.  After a tour in Japan with the army, he returned to LSU and obtained a MS and a job with EXXON.  Fred spent all of his interesting career with EXXON in Baton Rouge and retired several years ago.   He and his wife, Claudia or "Tootie" have 4 sons and 9 grandchildren.

Robert was in the 10th grade when we moved to Delphos, Kansas (north central Kansas) in 1946.  After graduation he then went to K-State for a business degree and, following an Air Force tour, received a law degree from Washburn U.  He had a successful legal career in industry and is now retired in Johnson County (KC suburb).  Bob and his wife, Marilyn, have 3 sons and 2 grandchildren.  I was in the 8th grade when we moved to Kansas.  Upon graduation I attended K-State on a football scholarship, where I received an engineering degree also. After two years in the Air Force, I returned to K-State as an instructor.  After earning a MS, I attended Oklahoma State for a PhD, returning to K-State in 1965.   Except for 5 years (1979-84) at Texas A&M, I spent all of my career at K-State, retiring as associate dean in 1997.  My wife, Dolores, and I have 3 sons, 1 daughter and 10 grandchildren.

Unfortunately, one of the consequences of my father's early death is that my brothers and I had very little contact with his family afterwards.  My grandmother, Sallie Godwin, had died in 1918 and my grandfather, Arch Gowdy, remarried about 1919.  He did visit us in Memphis occasionally as did my father's younger brothers.  However, I have little recollection of those visits.   For reasons unknown to me, we never visited Blue Mountain. Thus, after my father's death our interaction with his family was very rare except with Herbert and his family, who lived in Memphis.