Kenneth's Story

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TOPSFIELD - Mr. Kenneth P. Stowe, 71, of Topsfield, beloved husband of Susan (Pentland) Stowe, died Thursday, February 22, 2018, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Ken was the son of the late Richard H. Stowe Sr. and F. Yvette (Lavoie) Stowe; and brother of the late Reverend Richard H. Stowe. He is survived by his wife Susan; daughter Kelly, a senior manager at the Apple Store in Manchester N.H., and her husband Steve, who works at Amadeus Hospitality, and his son Sean Stowe of Topsfield, a Massachusetts State Trooper, assigned to A-6, Danvers; and five grandchildren, Olivia, Fiona, Ryker, Keagan and William.
Ken was born in Salem, but grew up in Danvers, attending elementary schools there and graduating from Danvers High School in 1964. He was often happy to praise Danvers as a storybook place to grow up. Growing up in Danvers in the 50s and 60s was akin to being in a movie about the best of America. He would say, "Wonderful people, great classmates." It was the quintessential "head for home when the street lights come on" kind of town. After graduation from Salem State College in 1968, he began teaching in Beverly. However, finishing the school year was not to be, as he entered the Army in March 1969. After training at Fort Dix, N.J., and then six months of additional infantry instruction at Fort Benning, Ga., Ken received his orders to Vietnam, assigned to the 57th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon, of the 198th Brigade.
Following his discharge, he returned to Beverly, and began teaching again at Memorial Junior High School. He moved to Topsfield, where he raised his family, and would remain for the rest of his life with his wife Susan. Later, Ken was promoted to Assistant Principal, and sent to Briscoe Junior High School. After five years there, he returned to Memorial Middle School as its Principal. He served in that capacity for nearly 20 years until his retirement. As a decorated veteran himself, Ken was forever cognizant of his responsibility as Principal of a school dedicated to veterans of Beverly. To that end, working with former veteran's agent George White, Memorial Day assemblies became an impressive expression to the student body, invited guests, and the community. Most programs were highlighted by a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. These speakers were most impressive and left impressions that would never wane.
Ken was often interested in pursuing activities away from academics and was proud of his attaining his Commercial Pilots Rating, and his association with New England Flyers. Later, his graduation from the police academy, at Camp Curtis Guild, lead to part time law enforcement experiences. He could be heard to say, "Some guys play golf to relax. I like to do other things". His wife Susan, also an educator, and noted New England Hybridizer of daylilies, had turned their home into Hill Hollow Daylily Farm many years earlier. It still remains a beautiful testament to her talent and dedication. When Ken was ever asked about living on a flower farm, his comment might be something like, "Well, it gives me a chance to drive the tractor."
ARRANGEMENTS: At Ken's request, burial will be private. A Celebration of Life will be held at Ken's residence, on March 5, at 4 p.m. to which relatives and friends are invited. Ken had great compassion for dogs, cats, and horses, as well as other animals. Any acts of kindness or support for animals, and shelters would be greatly appreciated. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O'Donnell funeral home, 167 Maple St., (Route 62) Danvers. To share a memory, or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
Published on February 26, 2018
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