Cover photo for Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr.'s Obituary
Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr. Profile Photo
1938 Kelly Walton 2023

Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr.

May 1, 1938 — January 31, 2023

Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr., age 84, was born May 1, 1938 and died January 31, 2023 at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, TN 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 January 4, 1970 who preceded him in death on February 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 into 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. And 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, TN and Camilla (Ritchey) Rhea of Rock Island, TN; 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 2:00 p.m. Sunday, February 5, 2023 at Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church with Willard Ralph, Jr. officiating. Burial will follow at Liberty Cemetery in Warren County, TN. Visitation will be Saturday from 12:00 p.m. until 8:00p.m. at High Funeral Home and Sunday from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kelly Walton Marlowe, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Liberty Cumberland Presbyterian Church

317 Liberty Lane, McMinnville, TN 37110

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