Kenneth Lamar Stokes, better known as “The Kenman,” finished the good fight, was reunited in heaven with the love of his life, and got to meet his Savior face to face in the early morning hours of Monday, January 2, 2023. Ken passed away five months to the day after being diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer. He was 65 years old.
Ken was preceded in death by his wife of 19 years, Linda Gayle Swain Stokes; parents, Raye Janell Davis and Wilton H. Stokes; grandmothers, Minnie Easterland and Lovie Stokes ; sister Kathy Stokes Walters.
He is survived by his sister Sherry Lynn Evans, her children Erik and Benjamin Evans; nieces; Amy White, Lacey Williams, and nephew Steven Williams; Brother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law, Tommy and Wanda Swain; their children, Brandi and Dennis Deavers, Debbie and Kevin Bishop, and Kellie and Justin Hasty, Brother-in-Law and Sister-In-Law Keith and Cheryl Swain; their children, Jennifer and Josh Kane and Zavi Swain and Kieran Christiansen, along with Diana and Billy Shelton, Staci and Jerry Holt, and Ami and Noah Parra. Not to mention multiple great and great-great nieces and nephews. Ken also leaves behind best friend and kindred spirit, Cara Shirley, and her husband, Eric, who took care of him in his last months.
Ken is a member of Toomsuba Baptist Church, where he was baptized soon after his marriage to Linda.
The Kenman, although born in Biloxi, MS, graduated from High School in Tuscaloosa, AL. Once graduated, Ken joined the navy, where he proudly served his country for five years. After his time in the service, Ken did a few odd jobs until he landed in the broadcasting business in 1985 as a radio DJ in Ellisville, MS. He soon made the move to Meridian as a radio host for Z95 then moved over to Q101 as the new morning show co-host for “Doc and The Kenman” with John Anthony.
He then made his way to Jackson, Mississippi, for a short period of time and came back to Meridian in 2009 as the morning show host on 97OKK. He was well known for his role in the community as the voice you would wake up to in the morning. He had many morning show partners through the years, but Ken was the one constant. Others would come and go, but Ken was always there.
Ken’s last morning show was “Your Country Morning Show with Cara and The Kenman” as he and Cara Shirley woke up to spread laughter and cheer each and every morning. Cara and Ken built a bond so strong that they ended up being more than friends, but more so family members.
After Ken’s cancer diagnosis in August, he was forced to cut back his time on air drastically until he ultimately retired in November.
The Kenman leaves behind a legacy in radio that will never be duplicated. Generations of people have woken up to the sound of his voice. His absence will be felt far beyond what Ken could ever think or imagine.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Kenman Scholarship for students of Broadcasting. Visit CFEM.org and click on the give now button.
Parking will be available at The Temple Theater and Webb & Stephens Downtown.