Ken W. Brock

Friday, January 5, 2024

Ken W. Brock, 77, Pittsburg businessman and entrepreneur, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023 with family by his side.

Ken was born Feb. 4, 1946, to George and Florence (Chaplin) Brock. He was raised in Hiattville, Kan., southwest of Fort Scott. He attended schools in Hiattville and Fort Scott and graduated from Fort Scott High School in 1964.

Ken proudly served his country in the Kansas Army National Guard.

In 1974, Ken founded Names and Numbers by purchasing five local telephone directories. Over the last 50 years he and his wife, Debbie, grew the company which now serves 130 markets in 18 states and two territories in Canada.

In addition to his passion for entrepreneurship, anyone who knew Ken knew his love for aviation. Ken was recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Wright Brothers Master Pilot for having flown more than 5,000 hours in his 50-plus years of flying.

Ken loved Pittsburg, Fort Scott and all of Southeast Kansas, which was evident in his service and leadership to these communities. He received the Spirit of Pittsburg award in 2011 and the Rex Crowley Outstanding Partners in Progress Award (PSU) in 2016. Ken started the local Gorilla Toastmasters in Pittsburg. He served on numerous boards and advisory committees including the Kelce School of Business, University Bank, Kansas Airport Advisory Committee, Pinnacle Care and Via-Christi Advisory Board. He also spent many years on the Association of Directory Publishers Board and was a nation-wide leader in the industry. Ken was also a member of the Christís Church of Oronogo.

Ken may best be known for his service as chairman of the Highway 69 Association. The Associationís goal is the expansion of Highway 69 to a four-lane highway from Kansas City to I-44. Working alongside Dr. Jim AuBuchon and numerous other Southeast Kansas leaders, Ken organized and advocated for the highway by making numerous trips to Topeka and Washington D.C.

Ken married Debbie Schilling on April 30, 1983. She survives of the home. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son Bob and daughter-in-law, Lori, of Topeka; his son Ron and daughter-in-law, Robin, of Pittsburg; and four grandchildren: Lucas Brock of Chicago, Caroline Brock of Overland Park, Evan Mason and Liam Mason of Pittsburg; and two brothers, Paul Brock of Ozark, Missouri and George Brock of Sandy, Ore.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Delbert and Gloria Schilling.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2024 at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts at Pittsburg State University with David Duncan officiating. Burial will follow at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery. Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 6 pm, Friday, Jan. 5 at the Bedene Funeral Home in Arma, Kan. The family suggest memorials to Christ in Youth, a Christian outreach based in Joplin, Mo. Memorials can be left at Bedene Funeral Home 517 E. Washington, P.O. Box 621, Arma, KS 66712, or mailed to CIY, 2201 N. Main, Joplin, MO, 64801 or by visiting their website, www.ciy.com.