Kenneth Benton Towne (Ken), 82, of Chaumont, passed away on Saturday, February 19th after a long battle with cancer.
Ken was born on February 4, 1940, in Oneida, NY to the late Robert N. and Alice (Benton) Towne of Stockbridge, NY. He graduated from Stockbridge Valley High School and attended the College of Emporia in Kansas where he played varsity football and earned his B.S. in psychology and physical education. After graduating college in 1963, Ken began his teaching career in Dannemora, NY before coming to Lyme Central School (LCS) in 1965. In addition to teaching health and physical education at Lyme, Ken coached multiple sports including boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ soccer, and boys’ baseball. He was instrumental in creating the modified sports program to encourage young student athletes to continue sports participation at various levels. During his 30-year career at Lyme, Ken also served as athletic director and class advisor and wore many other hats including standing in as bus driver from time to time. As a coach, he had many successes including Frontier League championships, playoff championships, and sectional titles in several sports. Upon his retirement in 1995, the board of education honored Ken for his 30 years of service and dedication to LCS students by naming the new gymnasium after him.
In 1980, Ken married Linda Lee Winnie (Lin) of Spencerport, NY, and they were happily married for 42 years. Their first date to a Syracuse University basketball game in 1980 and a subsequent trip to the 1980 Olympics in Lake Placid foretold their lifelong shared love of sports, SU athletics, and the Adirondacks.
Ken was an avid golfer throughout his life. Retirement brought the opportunity to spend much more time on the Bay Breeze Golf Links, where he was a lifetime member. In between golf rounds, he spent a great deal of time in the woodshop and boating on Chaumont Bay. He also remained active in both the Booster Club and Lyme Parent Teacher Organization during his retirement.
Ken is survived by his wife, Linda, and three beloved children: Kenny (Lori) Towne of Anderson, IN, Michael (Marcy) Towne of Channahon, IL, and Terra (Liam) Towne-Higginson of San Diego, CA. He is also survived by his brother David (Mary) Towne of Munnsville, NY, sister-in-law Donna (Rick) Nelson of Pittsford, NY, brother-in-law Ronnie (Michelle) Winnie of Sarasota, FL, and many wonderful nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his parents and brother, Robert F. Towne.
Ken’s family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Walker Cancer Center and Dr. Collins Kellogg and staff for their years of dedicated care and compassion.
An informal celebration of life will be held at the Bay Breeze Golf Links Clubhouse from 12 to 3 PM on Saturday, February 26th. The family kindly requests that you wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Ken’s honor to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (https://themmrf.org/get-involved/ways-to-donate/) or the Chaumont Food Pantry (PO Box 176 Chaumont, NY 13622). Online condolences may be shared at www.clevelandfhinc.com.
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