Kenneth Barlow, 85, dies

Columbus, OH — Kenneth Dale Barlow, 85, died peacefully on March 31, 2022.

Mr. Barlow was born July 28, 1936, on a farm just outside of Shelbyville, Ind., to Dale and Inez (Kendall). He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Harold Eugene, who died at birth.

Kenneth Barlow died March 31, 2022.

Mr. Barlow graduated from Boggstown High School in 1954 and attended Franklin College for one year. He married Sharlene Ryle on July 2, 1955. She and their four daughters, Debbie (Mike) Cameron, Dianne McNew, Donna (Glenn) Knox and Darlene Janis survive. He was also the proud grandfather of nine, Kelly (Jim) Coan, Michael Cameron, Reghan Richmond, Kerri (Troy) Jacobson, Ashley Cleary, Jadd Knox, Tiya Knox, John Janis, and Daylon Janis; great-grandfather of 14, Alex Coan, Rory Coan, Aria Cameron, Caydon Richmond, Celsey Richmond, Troy (NJ) Jacobson, Tylar Jacobson, Tristian Jacobson, Braelyn Cleary, McKenna Cleary, Nora Knox, Maya Knox, Zayden Knox, and Kingston Izaguirre; and great-great-grandfather of one, Luca Jacobson, with another on the way.

On May 13, 1960, he became a Standardbred driver. He drove his first race with Lucky Jim and won his first race with a horse named Tommy Goose. In 1964 and 1965 he won the Indiana Driver of the Year award. In 1964 he ranked sixth in the nation among all drivers. In 1965, he was the leading driver for the Anderson, Ind., meet.

In 1966, his Virgne’s Lady Plaid tied for the national lead in wins by a trotter and she was voted Indiana Horse of the Year. On Sept. 16, 1967, at the Rochester Fair in Rochester, N.H., Virgne’s Lady Plaid set a world record of 2:25.1 for a mile and an eighth on a half-mile track.

In 1970, he was the leading driver at Jackson Raceway in Michigan. His fastest mile was with Racy Mark on June 14, 1985, as they went in 1:57.4. His last race was in 1989, at the age of 53, at the Shelby County Fair.

On Feb. 6, 2016, he was inducted into the Indiana Standardbred Hall of Fame.

At the time of his death, Mr. Barlow owned a half interest in Virgne’s Lady Plaid’s great-great-grandson, Virgne’s Kenny B. In July 2021 he went one last time to Shelbyville, Ind., to watch Virgne’s Kenny B race.

At the time of his retirement, Mr. Barlow was living in Pompano Beach, Fla. For several years, he mowed yards in the retirement community where he lived.

In 1997, Ken and Sharlene formed Dance For Less. They traveled the country square dancing and selling square dance clothes. Their travels took them to Nevada, Alaska, Alabama, Texas, Florida and North Carolina. They traveled with Dance For Less until 2008.

In 2005, Hurricane Wilma pretty much destroyed their home in Florida. They were spending a lot of time in Maggie Valley and had fallen in love with North Carolina. In 2006, they purchased a farm on Cutshall Town Road and that is where Mr. Barlow spent the remainder of his days.

He raised Registered Angus cattle until 2018. Even though they decided it was time to get out of the cattle business, they kept their miniature donkeys and, of course, their horses.

Mr. Barlow attended Middle Laurel Church of God. He was a member of the Indiana Standardbred Association and the United States Trotting Association.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Indiana Standardbred Association, 311 American Legion Place, Greenfield, IN 46140.

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