Kenneth John Clary
Kenneth John Clary
  • March 5, 1934 - November 15, 2017
  • Sarasota, Florida

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A legend has fallen. Kenneth John (Ken) Clary rose from a dirt poor upbringing in rural 1930s Vienna, Georgia, to a long and storied business career. Hard-charging and competitive but a genuine people person, he was beloved by his employees and colleagues. From Hallmark rookie salesman of the year to a swift rise up the management ranks at Dow Jones, Clary was an often-recruited marketing whiz and team builder before taking a turn as a successful entrepreneur with a fishing tournament business he later sold to his top national sponsor. Coming out of retirement for one more career stop, his last was his favorite: president of an oil industry supplier which yoked his accrued business acumen with his much earlier experience working as an oilfield roughneck during college summers. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War and was a proud 1959 alumna of Oklahoma University and fervent supporter of OU's football team. It was there he first saw his future bride, Dena, walking into a school cafeteria. Their 59-year marriage ended with her passing in 2016. He was never the same. Clary generously gave to charity, loved serving on church boards, and especially supported The Salvation Army and Pioneers. A "life of the party" character nearly to the end, he could be seen at family gatherings in his "Bank of Grandpa" t-shirt, enjoying a beer with the grandkids. He leaves to cherish his memory, three children, John Clary (Misti), Susan Clary (Patric Dietrich), Kay Clary, and eleven grandchildren; Megan Clary, Colin Clary, Ethan Clary, Kyle Maher, Owen Maher, Breen Nabors, Jake Jones, Jenny Jones, Will Jones, Andrea McLenon, and Evie McLenon. Services will be held on December 26, 3pm, at Sarasota National Cemetary. In lieu of flowers please donate to a Salvation Army bell ringer or a charity of your choice.