Kenneth Eugene “Kenny” Schooley, 89, Richmond, died Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, at Shirkey Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond.

Kenny was born July 26, 1930, in Richmond, the son of Jewell Edward and Gladys Bernita (McGinnis) Schooley. He was united in marriage to Shirley Ann Howell of Lafayette County, on March 11, 1955; she survives of the home.

Kenny was reared and educated in Richmond, graduating from Richmond High School in 1948.

As a young man, Kenny enjoyed spending time with his grandparents, where he developed his lifelong passion for the outdoors, hunting and fishing. During the Korean War, Kenny was a motor-pool mechanic in the U.S. Army during the Korean War; this is where his lifelong career as a mechanic and his interests in cars and racing began. Kenny was a well-known area mechanic. He worked for several area auto businesses and repair shops. He retired from Swafford Ford, where he was a service writer and mechanic for more than 50 years. After the war, Kenny enjoyed car racing, north of town, at the old racetrack. He was the first NASCAR champion west of the Mississippi River; his car was 89.

Kenny retired from car racing when his daughters were born.

He was a member of the Richmond United Methodist Church and a life member of the Richmond Veterans of Foreign Wars. Besides hunting and fishing, his hobbies included mushroom hunting, gigging frogs, running trot lines and anything outdoors. He also enjoyed refinishing antiques.

Additional survivors include: two daughters, Tammy (Gary) Swafford of Richmond and Anita (Randy) Didier of Richmond; five grandchildren, Christopher Aaron (Emily) Kilgore, Preston Kenneth Schooley (Sydney) Kilgore, Taylor Reed Didier, Megan Ann (Matt) Ganier and Ashlee Morgan Lykins; six great-grandchildren, Hadley Claire Kilgore, Graham Kenneth Kilgore, Cameron Leigh Kilgore, Emery Grace-Ann Ganier, Adelyn Kate Ganier, Brielle Lee Lykins and one on the way; and a first cousin, Annabelle Nolker.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his father paying the ultimate price for our freedom during the Battle of the Bulge.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to either the Richmond United Methodist Church or the Shirkey Foundation Alzheimer’s Support Group. They can be left at or mailed to Thurman Funeral Home, 507 E. Main St. – P.O. Box 190, Richmond, MO 64085.

Visitation is from 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019, at Thurman Funeral Home. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, at Richmond United Methodist Church. Military honors will be provided by the U.S. Army and Ray County Veterans. Burial will be in Richmond Memory Gardens Cemetery.

Online condolences may be left at

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