2019 Hall of Fame Honoree
Ken Colley arrived at OMA in January 1966, as a second semester Rabbit. His welcoming committee, consisting of eight NCOs, led Colley to give 110% effort and receive early recognition from Rabbit period. In high school, Colley lettered in baseball, drill team and the rifle team. He received awards for best drilled squad and best drilled platoon.
In junior college, Colley received the Meyers’ 1968 Academic Achievement Wreath and was named to the Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges. He was also class president for his graduating class in 1969 and graduated at LTC as the Battalion Executive Officer.
Since graduating, Colley has been active in more than 20 class reunions, including serving as Adjutant in 1994 and 2012. He was the Chairman for bringing The Wall that Heals to the OMA Reunion in 2018. He currently serves on the OMA Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Ken has been married to Lynn Colley for 47 years. They have two children, KC Colley, a general contractor living in Greenwood, Arkansas, and Courtney Fulton, who currently resides in Budd Lake, New Jersey. Ken has one grandson, Archer Colley.
Colley served in the 188th Air National Guard from 1971-1976. In 1971, Ken was hired to work for Basin Appraisal Company and after two years at the company, Ken decided to start his own appraisal company. After 40 years, Ken is still operating his own company. He currently appraises residential and commercial properties in both Arkansas and Oklahoma. Colley graduated from John Brown University with a degree in business.
Colley’s service to the community begins with his church. He and his family have been members of Eastside Baptist Church for the past 45 years. He has served as Sunday school teacher, deacon, department director and numerous other positions over the years. In 1976, Colley was elected to be a delegate for the National Republican Convention for then-Governor Ronald Reagan.
In 1990, Colley joined Rotary International and has served in many positions, including Club President twice (1998-1999 and 2015-2016) and Youth Exchange Officer for 21 years during which time Ken and Lynn hosted students from Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Taiwan, Hungary and Columbia. Four of these students lived with the Colleys for an entire school year.
In 2013-14, Ken was elected to be Rotary District Governor for District 6110, which covers parts of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. At that time, Ken was one of 529 District Governors around the world.
Ken served at a children’s hospital in the Ukraine in 1999 and also helped supply medical equipment to this hospital. In 2014, Ken and other Rotarians raised $30,000 to buy wheelchairs to be shipped to Mexico. This was the first of five trips Ken would make to South America to distribute wheelchairs to needy families. These experiences have enriched Ken’s life, and it has been a blessing for him to be a part of something so humbling.
Ken has served on the Salvation Army Board of Directors since 2000. In 2012-13, Colley served as president. He recently received a certificate of Life Membership in the Salvation Army. Over the years, Ken has helped raise money, plan meals and serve more than 5,000 needy families in and around Fort Smith, Arkansas.