Legendary radio host “The Kenman” dies at 65, memorial set for Jan. 7

Kenman passes away
Kenman passes away(WTOK)
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 10:23 AM CST
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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - Ken Stokes, better known as “The Kenman”, lost his battle with prostate cancer Monday, January 2, 2023. He was 65.

Ken was from Biloxi, Mississippi.

Ken got his start in Meridian as a radio host for Z95 with Ken Rainey then moved over to Q101.

He was well known for his role in the community as the voice you would wake up to in the morning. Stokes had been in radio since the mid-1980 ′s and then moved to Meridian as the new morning show co-host for “Doc and The Kenman” with John Anthony.

He then made his way to Jackson, Mississippi, for a short period of time and came back to Meridian in 2009 as the morning show host on 97 OKK.

Ken recently worked for The Radio People as a WOKK radio host and Production Director.

Ken’s last project was being a part of “Cara and The Kenman” as he and Cara Shirley woke up to spread laughter and cheer each and every morning. Cara and Ken built a bond so strong that they ended up being more than friends, but more so family members.

Ken was diagnosed with stage four metastatic prostate cancer in August of 2022, and with the diagnosis, Ken had to give up his passion for radio.

WTOK reached out to WOKK for a statement. This is what they had to say about the legend that “The Kenman” was to them;

“I, along with his radio station family, feel grief and peace at the passing of Ken Stokes. Grief for what he meant to us, and peace for the happiness he feels reuniting with his wife, Linda, in heaven. Ken was a part of mornings on 97OKK for many years. Ken’s humor and passion helped define 97OKK’s personality. He also was on mornings for Q101 for many years. I would like to thank Cara Shirley, Ken’s radio co-host, and Eric Shirley, for taking care of Ken during his end of life experience,” said President - Mississippi Broadcasters, LLC, Clay Holladay.

Ken had spent decades at the local WOKK station and loved making memories and making people laugh, but he said what he really wanted to be remembered by was something really important to him.

“I try to tell people, don’t remember me from joking and laughing or anything like that,” Stokes said. “If I bring a smile, that’s fine, but remember me by going, ‘I need that prostate test. I don’t want to go through what Ken went through.’ That’s basically what I want to be remembered by,” said Stokes.

A memorial service will be held Jan. 7 at the Temple Theatre in Meridian. Visitation will be from 12 noon to 2 p.m., with the service beginning at 2 p.m.