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Kenneth Wayne Paris, longtime educator and businessman, died Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, in Waco at the age of 83.

Kenneth was born Dec. 6, 1938, in Mexia, to Kenneth Earl and Lois Matilda January Paris.

Education played an important role throughout Kenneth’s life, starting at the Coolidge schools, where he graduated in 1957. He went on to his beloved Baylor University for his higher education, graduating in 1961 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with majors in History and English and minors in Education and History. Over the years, he continued his quest for knowledge, receiving his Texas insurance license and real estate appraisal license. In all he obtained more than 400 classroom hours at McClennan Community College.

After his years at Baylor, Kenneth returned to Coolidge, where he would spend the next three decades pursuing a number of endeavors. These included developing land, tending and raising cattle, managing a feed and grain business, managing a furniture business, teaching school, and opening and operating a furniture store in Teague.

Later in his working career, he was employed by the Texas Department of Corrections, the Texas Youth Commission facility in Mart, Katy and Coolidge public schools and MCC.

Kenneth married Joan Annette Dowdle, his high school girlfriend and first love, in 1958, and spent many happy years together prior to her death in 2005.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; daughter, Kendra Joy; and sons, Oran Ken and Kevin Van.

He is survived by his sons, whom he was very proud of and also their wives, whom he considered daughters, Wayne and his wife Brenda of Crockett, Trent and his wife Barbie of McGregor and Drake and his wife Julie, of Teague; five grandchildren; seven great-grand-children; and one great-great granddaughter joining the family in July; a sister, Joy Johnston of Groesbeck; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m., Wednesday, March 2, at First Baptist Church in Coolidge with the Rev. James Michael Stiles officiating. Interment will follow in the Coolidge Cemetery with Kody Johnston, Clay Johnston, Cade Johnston, Kole Johnston, Jared Paris and ike Gonzales serving as pallbearers.

Visitation with family will be one hour prior to the service at the church.

Please visit to leave the family a message of condolence or sign the guest book.

Mexia News

214 N. Railroad

Mexia, TX 76667

(254) 562-2868