Thomas Ensslin

Published 4:32 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

Thomas Franklin (Tom) Ensslin of Danville, Kentucky unexpectedly passed away on March 25, 2024. Born in Stanford Kentucky on July 14, 1936, he was the son of Theodore E. and Ursula Thomas Ensslin. He graduated from Stanford (KY) High School and attended Centre College. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon completing basic training at Camp Lejeune, he served his Marine career in Honolulu, Hawaii. After returning to Kentucky, Tom finished his undergraduate degree in business at Eastern Kentucky University. He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Evelyn Bell, on August 29, 1959, and then moved to Louisville, KY to start his career with the Standard Oil Company. Tom’s career took him to Lexington, KY and eventually to Danville KY. In Danville, he established Ensslin Enterprises, Inc, which he owned and operated for over 40 years. During that tenure, Tom served as President of the KY Petroleum Marketers Association and as President of the Chevron Petroleum Marketers Association. 

He was a member of the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ since 2008, teaching an adult Sunday School class for 2 years. Prior to moving his church membership, he was a member of Centenary United Methodist Church. He served Centenary in many capacities including Chairman of the Board. Tom also taught the John Pruitt Sunday School class for 10 years. He was a strong man of faith and a courageous servant of Jesus Christ. 

Tom held various leadership roles in multiple civic organizations including Past President of the Danville Kiwanis Club and Past President of the Danville – Boyle Co. Chamber of Commerce. He served on the board of First Security Bank Danville and the Commonwealth Saving and Loan. He was elected to the Danville School Board for 8 years. Tom’s greatest passion was Danville High School football. He headed Danville’s booster club, The First Mates, leading the way in raising funds to support the school’s athletic programs. He became personally involved with many of the athletes, becoming a father figure to many. He was the organizer of the Danville-Boyle Co. BBQ at Centenary United Methodist Church, unifying the rival schools in prayer and fellowship, a tradition that continues today. In 2014, he was inducted into the Danville Schools Athletics Hall of Fame. 

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He is preceded in death by his parents and his wife. He is survived by his daughters, Valinda Bell Wagner (Mitch) of Louisville KY and Mary Emily Gross (Walter) of Mercer Co, KY, his grandchildren, Mary Isabel Wagner and Elizabeth Ainsley Gross, and special friend of the family, Chester Ford (Kim) of Millington, TN. 

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:30 a.m. at First Christian Church, Danville KY, on Saturday, April 13th. The family requests no flowers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial donations to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, North Carolina 28607, or The Danville-Boyle Co. Salvation Army, 519 S 4th St, Danville, KY 40422. W.L. Pruitt Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.