Funeral services for Kennoth Garner Gammill, 93, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, October 1, 2022, at First Baptist Church, under the direction of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.
Mr. Gammill passed away at 2:15 a.m., Friday, September 23, 2022, at Ozarks Healthcare.
Mr. Gammill was born October 3, 1928, at Myrtle, Mississippi, the son of Luther and Vera Newby Gammill. He was the fifth of six children. He graduated from Manila High School, and on November 16, 1952, he was married at Manila, Arkansas, to Peggy Ruth Bacon.
In 1965, Mr. Gammill, along with his wife, moved to West Plains from Union City, Tennessee, and opened Gammill Sewing Center. In 1980, they founded Gammill Quilting Machine Company. Mr. Gammill was a member of the American Quilting Society and had traveled extensively for the purpose of marketing their quilting machines. He received numerous industry awards throughout his career, most notably the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Machine Quilters Society in 2003. In May of 2011, Mr. Gammill was awarded an honorary Associate of Applied Sciences degree from Missouri State University-West Plains, in recognition of his achievements and commitment to the community. Mr. Gammill was the inaugural recipient of this award.
Mr. Gammill’s wife, Peggy, passed away on January 4, 1998. On September 24, 2005, he married Joan McCann at First Baptist Church in West Plains. Having both lost their spouses many years prior, their marriage and companionship was a blessing to each of them.
Mr. Gammill was a member of First Baptist Church, West Plains, and served in several volunteer capacities over his many years of attendance. He served on the Board of West Vue Nursing Home for many years, and following his retirement, volunteered at West Vue alongside his wife, Joan.
Many local charitable organizations around town knew Mr. Gammill for his quiet philanthropic efforts supporting their charities. The Family Foundation he established has provided dozens of scholarships to the nursing program at MSU-West Plains over the years. In 2022, Mr. Gammill qualified to receive the Sterling Medallion, one of the highest levels of recognition within the Founder’s Club at Missouri State University, in recognition of his many years of support to the University.
Mr. Gammill also received the Champions for Heroes and Cornerstone Society Awards from Disabled American Veterans (DAV) in recognition of his extraordinary generosity and support of veterans in 2021. One of Mr. Gammill’s brothers and a brother-in-law were veterans.
After retirement in 2004 and remarriage in 2005, Mr. Gammill enjoyed working on his property with his tractor. He became quite adept at moving boulders, at the direction of Joan, for their various landscaping projects. He also dug a pond and stocked it with catfish. He loved his daily chore of going to feed the fish and relished calling them to supper. In the early years of their marriage, Ken and Joan enjoyed traveling, volunteering, and working together in their yard. He loved watching wildlife on his property and would put corn out for the deer each night. One of the hobbies he most enjoyed in retirement was playing dominoes, and he became well-known as the resident expert. He and Joan spent many hours playing the game, often including any and all comers who were willing to join him at the game table!
Survivors include his wife, Joan Gammill, of the family home; three children, Shawna Matthews, Port Ludlow, Washington, Kendall Gammill and wife, Lavone, Gamaliel, Arkansas, and Stacy Gammill, West Plains, Missouri; one sister, Marie Edwards, Eureka, Illinois; two step-children, Kyle McCann and wife, Daphane, and Shonette Hutchinson, Zachary, Louisiana; four step-grandchildren; two step-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Peggy Gammill; three brothers, L.G. Gammill, William (Bill) Gammill, and Waylon Gammill; one sister, Joyce Fitz; and two nieces, Lindsey Wells and Gina Fuell.
Mr. Gammill will lie in state from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday, at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be at Howell Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to American Heart Association and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO 65775. Online condolences may be expressed at www.robertsondrago.com.