Posted on: March 30, 2020
Community member and dentist Ken Earl Handley will be missed. Born July 31, 1950, Ken grew up in Lufkin and never lost his affection for the place and its people. He attended elementary school at Coston and lettered in Basketball at Lufkin High School, class of 1968. Ken went to college at The University of Texas before being accepted into an accelerated dental program at University of Texas Health Sciences Houston. Later he transferred to Medical College of Virginia where he was conferred a Doctorate of Dental Surgery in 1975. After a residency at University of Virginia he became the Dental Director of Central Virginia Community Health.
Married to Sharon Moore MD in 1978, they first lived in western San Antonio where they began their family while she completed her tour as a Captain in the United States Public Health Service and he worked an Associate Professor at University of Texas Health Sciences San Antonio serving as Director of General Practice Dentistry Residency during his tenure. In 1984, he returned to Lufkin and went into private practice, eventually opening a clinic on Gaslight Boulevard where he worked until 2013 providing high-quality dental work with an in-house financing system that gave everyone a smile without stealing anyone’s dignity. Ken spent his final professional years working for University of Texas Medical Branch as an infirmary dentist servicing several Texas Department of Criminal Justice units in Rusk and across northeast Texas.
Outside of work Ken loved to hunt, fish, cook, and generally have a good time with family and friends but, he also gave much of his time to the community through charity and mentorship. A sampling of his recent volunteer collaborations include Boy Scouts of America, American Dental Society, Angelina County Drug Court Program, Alcoholics Anonymous, Walk to Emmaus and Via de Cristo; he lead a bible study at Angelina County Jail and helped many friends discover financial security through his advisement. A longtime member of First Baptist Church, Ken also regularly attended many other churches later in life including First Christian, Angel of Joy Lutheran, Believers Bible, and others.
Ken was diagnosed with angiosarcoma in 2017, he fought this disease with courage and aggression but, he eventually succumbed to its effects. He passed away comfortably in the house his father built with his children and friends at his side, April 8, 2019.