Kenneth Cadenhead

January 14, 1932 ~ November 7, 2022 (age 90) 90 Years Old


Albert Kenneth Cadenhead died peacefully at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika, Alabama on November 7, 2022 at the age of 90.

Kenneth is survived by his brothers Paul Cadenhead, Clarence (Dottie) Cadenhead, Ellis (Carol) Cadenhead, his sister Anne Patrick, and his children Michael (Judy) Cadenhead, Melanie Cadenhead, Mark (Dody) Cadenhead, Milton (Diane) Cadenhead. He has five grandchildren, Alec, Maria, Nick, Sara, and Hannah Cadenhead. He is also survived by his step grandchildren Eric (Heather) Noah and Kim (Richard) Castelo and his step great grandchildren Lillie, Wyatt, Ophelia.  He was preceded in death by his parents, oldest brother Roy Alton and his loving wife of 65 years, Frances Jameson Cadenhead.

Kenneth was born on January 14, 1932 to Omie Uvelia Bishop and Roy Erastus Cadenhead in the Callaway Mill Village of LaGrange, Georgia where he lived in Troup County until he left to pursue his journey as an educator. 

Kenneth began his professional studies at West Georgia College in Carrollton, Georgia where he met his college sweetheart, Frances Jameson.  He then received his bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Georgia in 1952, while also serving in the U.S. Army (1952-1954).  He completed his master’s degree from the University of Georgia in 1954. Kenneth received his doctorate degree from Auburn University in 1964, and was initiated into Phi Kappa Phi.

His teaching career began in 1950 in a one-room classroom at Oak Mountain School in Carrollton, Georgia.  This is the school where Norman Rockwell visited and painted “A Country School” which captured life in rural Georgia in the Saturday Evening Post. This began his lifelong journey as an educator.  His career continued in Mountville, Georgia where he was a teacher and the principal at Mountville Elementary School for eight years.  He left Mountville in 1962 and moved to Auburn, Alabama to pursue his doctorate, and became a member of the faculty in the School of Education at Auburn University, where he served for thirty years. He spent two years in 1967-1969 as the Education Department Head at Columbus College in Columbus, Georgia.  Upon retirement, Kenneth remained Professor Emeritus at Auburn University. He was passionate about educating people. Kenneth made significant contributions to the many students he taught in his career.  His teaching continued after retirement when he was highly involved in the Lee County Literacy Coalition.

Kenneth married his college sweetheart, Frances Jameson, in 1951.  During their life together for 65 years they raised four children, Michael, Melanie, Mark and Milton.   Kenneth and Fran shared their love and kindness with all that were a part of their lives, creating many loving lifelong friendships.  On their 25th wedding anniversary, they began to pursue their dream of traveling abroad.  Among their many trips abroad, they always returned to Scotland, their favorite home away from home where they made many lifelong friends.

The Cadenhead home on Conrey Drive was always open and everyone felt at home there. Kenneth and Fran were known as the perfect hosts for friends and family, where many have “pulled up a chair around the table” and participated in meaningful discussions, conversations and laughter.  Kenneth’s love for music was shared in the home where one would frequently hear Kenneth playing the piano. His love for reading, writing and continuous learning was reflected in the many books and journals that surrounded him in the family room and in his study.  His curious and open mind to thoughts and ideas made him a treasured conversationalist to the many he befriended.

Kenneth’s continual search and desire to think, to understand, and to love set the course that he followed throughout his life. These pursuits were also reflected in his desires to understand connections and to understand and appreciate the collective human spirit.

Kenneth was an avid writer.  He began capturing his thoughts in writing in his diaries at the age of twelve and continued to maintain his diaries throughout his life.  In addition to his diaries and professional publications, he published a number of books including “Southern Cadenheads”, coauthored with Bill Germany, a book about the life of the Scottish artist James Cadenhead, his autobiography “My Life and Work - A Continual Search”, his collection of essays “Metaphor and Meaning In My Life”, and biographies of his dear friends Potcher and Lillie Cooper.  He continually shared his wisdom with his children through his “Daddy letters''.

Kenneth’s love and kindness is understood by all who knew him, and will live on through all of the lives he touched during his 90 years on this Earth.  He will be remembered as a true Southern gentleman.

Visitation will be 10:00am-12:00pm on Friday, November 11, 2022 at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home, 1500 Frederick Road, Opelika, AL 36801. A graveside service will be held following the visitation at Auburn Memorial Park Cemetery, 1000 East Samford Avenue, Auburn, AL 36830.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Food Bank of East Alabama at 355 Industry Drive, Auburn, Alabama, 36832, or to the Lee County Literacy Coalition at 1365 Gatewood Drive #519, Auburn, Alabama, 36830.

Condolences can be sent to

Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directing.


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