Kenneth Shawyer CyphersJune 12, 1925 ~ December 27, 2017 (age 92)
Kenneth was born in Richlands, VA, on 6/12/25 and passed away 22 days after his beloved wife of more than seventy years, Louise, on 12/27/17. They are survived by their children, Candy Helms (Steve), Teresa, Debbie, and Craig (Sara Sydnor). They were predeceased by their daughter Cheri. They had 9 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild.
After serving in the Air Force, Ken returned to Richlands and worked for his father’s well drilling business, alongside several of his older brothers. His love story began with Louise when he spotted her getting off a bus to return to work at Clinch Valley Clinic. He pursued Louise and they were later married on May 31, 1947. Ken and Louise loved to dance to the tunes of the big band era and were greatly admired for their smooth dancing.
The small town of Richlands didn’t provide many job opportunities, Ken and Louise moved to Chicago, Ill so he could train to be a body man, repairing wrecked cars. They later moved to Cleveland, Ohio where he again worked as a body man. They returned to Richlands to be close to family. Ken and Louise had deeply rooted work ethics and were hard workers all of their life. Ken worked as a body man into his 70’s. When Ken couldn’t find work in the car repair business he worked in the coal mines for many years.
In 1962, he helped his uncle move to Jacksonville, FL and fell in love with the place. Within two weeks of returning to Richlands, Louise quit her job at the hospital, they sold their 4 room house, packed up the five kids, and moved to Jacksonville where Ken had gotten a job at Key Buick. Jacksonville provided him with so many things that he loved, fishing, sports, good weather, and more fishing. Ken was a man who could fix anything and he stayed busy all of the time. He loved watching sports on TV and loved the Jaguars, particularly when they were winning.
Ken later worked at Bill Terry’s Buick and worked there until he and Louise retired to St. Augustine in 1988. Ken and Craig, along with help from many family members, built a log cabin overlooking a pond in St. Augustine, FL. He continued to work on cars, sometimes from his home. Like Louise, family was everything to him. He often said he wished all of his kids could move back home, with our families in tow.
They became very adventurous in retirement, in 1993 and 1996 they spent five months working at Yellowstone National Park. Louise was a store clerk and Ken took care of light maintenance in the main store near the site of Old Faithful. They were able to explore many parts of the US on their drives out west. Teresa, Debbie, and Craig were able to join them on many camping exploits to national parks throughout the US.
After some years of declining health Ken and Louise agreed to move back to Jacksonville to be closer to their children, who diligently cared for them for the last three years. In particular, Debbie and Craig made sure that their every need was taken care of, with support from Candy and Teresa.
A brief service will be held for the inseparable couple on Jan. 19, at 10AM at Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Rd. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made in their honor to Yellowstone.org, the park they loved so much.