Dr. Kenneth Matthews Talley, a resident of Lillington, NC since 1966 when he opened the town’s first full-time optometric practice went to his home in Heaven on Saturday, January 2, 2021 after a ten day battle with COVID. He had been in declining health for several years with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis and COPD.
Dr. Talley was born in Springfield, Tennessee and raised in Fuquay Springs, NC. Following graduation from Fuquay Springs High School he graduated from Campbell Junior College and studied at Pennsylvania State College of Optometry in Philadelphia, PA receiving his Doctor of Optometry degree in 1963. He served three years active duty as a lieutenant in the US Army Medical Service Corps at Ft. Jackson, SC where he examined the eyes of recruits bound for Viet-Nam.
Dr. Talley’s parents Roy and Lucille Talley, his sister Elizabeth Appleton, brothers Billy Talley and Roy Talley, Jr. are deceased.
Survivors include Kathryn Rowland Talley, his wife of 59 years, his son Kevin Matthew Talley and wife Cindy of Jacksonville, Fla.,his brothers Jerry Talley of Willow Spring and John David Talley and wife Bert of Fuquay-Varina and many nieces and nephews.
Soon after arriving in Lillington Kenneth and Kathryn joined Lillington Baptist Church where he was a member of the Simmons Sunday School class, committee member, chancel choir member, deacon and participant in two mission trips to upstate New York, and three trips each to South Africa, Armenia, and Honduras. On all mission trips he shared his Christian faith as well as examining eyes, fitting eyeglasses and distributing Bibles or New Testaments in the language of the people in those countries.
He enjoyed playing golf, riding motorcycles and watching on site or on TV any UNC Tar Heel basketball or football game. He was a member of the Lillington Jaycees and a charter member of the Lillington Lions Club. He served two terms on the Harnett County Board of Health and participated in service on the VISION VAN.
He retired from full-time optometric practice in 1996 following coronary artery bypass surgery and continued some part-time work until 2003. He chose walking as a hobby, for exercise and to meet and greet - a skill he innately possessed. He was a friendly, amiable man.
Graveside services will be at Wake Chapel Memorial Gardens in Fuquay-Varina ,where many of Kenneth and Kathryn’s family have been laid to rest, on Thursday, January 7,2021 at 1 p.m.
Officiating will be Rev. Daniel Selman, pastor of Lillington Baptist Church with family remembrances by nephew Rev. Brad Talley, pastor of Grace Community Church. Friends are invited to visit O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home on Thursday, January 7, 2021, between the hours of 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM to pay their respects to Dr. Talley.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lillington Baptist Church. P.O. Box 670, Lillington, NC 27546.
In accordance with current North Carolina COVID-19 guidelines, the funeral home requests that everyone in attendance practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Kenneth M. Talley, please visit our floral store.