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Kenton B. Rea

April 8, 1935 ~ February 19, 2022 (age 86)

Obituary

Kenton B. Rea, 86, has joined his parents (Clyde and Muriel Booth Rea), brother (Robbie Rea), and son (Jeff Rea) in heaven.  Kent married the beautiful Mary Masterson Rea (60 years) and started a family, including his son Kenton B. Rea, Jr. of Johnson City, Tn, his granddaughter Abigail Rea Cornelius (Shanon) of Telford, Tn, his son Jeffrey David Rea (deceased), and his daughter Leslie Rea Quirion (Paul) and grandsons John Paul and Caden, of Queenstown, Md.  Kent has a sister, Dana Rea, of Chapel Hill, NC.  Much like his road races, Kent was fiercely competitive and had the heart of a champion.  He was even more so a champion of people and had a wonderful ability to connect with others.  Kent attended Eastern High in Louisville, Ky, and graduated from Sewanee Military School.  He then attended the University of the South, Sewanee, Tn, earning a degree in Political Science.  He was drafted into the Army serving two years before receiving an honorable discharge. Kent then returned to the states and started his YMCA career as a physical fitness director in Covington, Ky.  He retired 35 years later as the Y South Field Regional Director.  During his induction into the University of the South’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Kent spoke of the importance of the three F’s: Faith, Family, and Fitness.  He truly lived by these principles.  Kent loved Jesus and the mission of the YMCA.  He was a member of St. Henry Catholic Church in Nashville.  Kent lettered in five sports while attending Sewanee: cross county (two undefeated teams), track and field, tennis, swimming, and wrestling.  Kent was also an Eagle Scout with Boy Scout Troop 115 with fond memories of hiking the Lincoln trail and serving others.  Kent taught his younger brother, Robbie, and sister, Dana, how to swim and play tennis.  He had a passion for helping youth and teen fitness, as well as training and mentoring young Y leaders.  Many of his staff went on to become leaders in the Y movement.  Kent was honored to be inducted into the YMCA Hall of Fame at Blue Ridge Assembly.  He also received the Robert Gulick Award as the top physical educator and is a member of the USA Volleyball Hall of Fame.  Kent’s last Y act was to serve as a consultant to his daughter, Leslie, to help build a new Y in Centreville, MD.  The Queen Anne’s County Y held its groundbreaking ceremony this past summer and plans to open in 2023.  Kent was an avid sportsman, which included his love of horse racing, especially the Kentucky Derby.  Kent also organized and trained wrestling and volleyball referees in middle Tennessee.  Kent had a fun sense of humor, loved to be active, and travel.  He had a very special bond with his grandchildren and was an amazing PopPop!  Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 23 at the West Harpeth Funeral Home, Nashville, TN.  A graveside service will be held 4 p.m. EST at St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery.  Joseph L. Greenwell Funeral Home has been entrusted with all local arrangements.

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