MYRTLE BEACH—On Nov. 20, Kenneth “Ken” Theodore Gladden Sr., 94, went to his eternal home in Heaven.
He was born on Sept. 3, 1925, in Great Falls to his parents, William Lonnie Gladden and Minnie McWatters Gladden.
The oldest of six children, Ken graduated from Columbia High School.
While in high school, he worked as a ticket agent at the Greyhound Bus Station in downtown Columbia.
During World War II, he served in the Navy from 1943-1946 as a radioman II class petty officer.
After returning from the war, he began working at the bus station full time and attending the University of South Carolina. During that time, he met his wife of 65 years, Connie. After their wedding, the couple lived in Great Falls where he was the manager of the Greyhound Bus Station.
They then moved back to Columbia where Ken and Connie both worked at Life of Georgia Insurance. He was then hired as the district retail manager for Pure Oil Company, which was later known as Union Oil Company.
Working with Pure/Union Oil, the family moved to several different locations including Cary, North Carolina, Fayetteville, North Carolina. Macon, Georgia, and finally, Hemingway. They lived for 15 years in Hemingway raising their four sons.
Ken started his own business, Gladden Oil Company, and opened the Snack Shack downtown. When the 1979 oil crisis occurred, he accepted a position with Metropolitan Life Insurance as branch manager.
He opened a new office in Myrtle Beach and the family moved there in 1980 with Ken remaining there for the last 39 years. After many years of employment with Metropolitan Life, he decided to branch off and open an independent life insurance sales office, The Insurance Group, in downtown Myrtle Beach. In 2008, he began working as a field representative for the U.S. Census Health Interview Survey. He also worked part time at Cane Patch Par 3 and at Jungle Safari Putt-Putt for 18 years until he was 91 years old.
In former years, he served on the Hemingway Town Council and was the emcee of the Bible radio program, “In Times Like These,” on WKYB in Hemingway. He was also a founding member of the Myrtle Beach Bible Chapel.
He was a born again Christian and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved to share the Word with everyone and would often preach the Gospel through his many years in fellowship at Bethany Chapel in Columbia and Bethany Chapel in Conway.
In the most recent years, he had been in fellowship at Myrtle Beach Bible Chapel and Believer’s Bible Chapel.
Ken was a lifelong golfer and he won numerous trophies on the course during his life. He was also an avid fan of Gamecock athletics.
Kenneth was predeceased in death by his parents; wife Carnell “Connie” Cribb Gladden; brothers Jack Gladden and Osborne Gladden of Columbia and sister Vera Gladden Branham of Columbia.
Survivors include sons Kenneth T. Gladden Jr. “Ted” and wife Sarah, of West Columbia, David A. Gladden and wife Sandra of Fountain Inn, Mark A. Gladden of Myrtle Beach and Joel N. Gladden and his wife Jane, also of Myrtle Beach; brother the Rev. W.L. Gladden (Vera) of Elgin; sister Loretta Gladden Joyner (Donald) of Columbia; granddaughters Melissa Gladden Finch of Columbia and Emma Grace Gladden of Myrtle Beach; grandsons Will Gladden (Rachel) of Fountain Inn and Wyatt Gladden of Myrtle Beach; step-grandchildren Louise Monteith (Charles) of North Charleston and Dee Patterson (Ashley) of Greenwater, Washington; two great-grandchildren,; five step-great-grandchildren and his nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Nov. 23 at McMillan-Small Funeral Home, Myrtle Beach, with Pastor David Rickert officiating. Burial followed at Ocean Woods Memorial Cemetery in Myrtle Beach.
A memorial can be made in Ken’s memory i to Believer’s Bible Chapel, PO Box 389, Longs, SC 29568 or you can donate or purchase a memorial Bible in his name at Gideons International, https://www.gideons.org.