Grayson banker turns 105

Jack Strother, Sr., of the Commercial Bank of Grayson, Ky., turned 105 on October 8. He still comes in most days to the bank, which is now led by his grandson.

Jack Strother Sr., of the Commercial Bank of Grayson, Ky., celebrates his 105th birthday with bank staff.

Jack Strother, Sr., of the Commercial Bank of Grayson, Ky., turned 105 on October 8. To celebrate, he had one party at the bank and two others with family.

Strother is director emeritus at the bank where he has an office which he visits nearly every business day, according to grandson Mark Strother, who now fills the role of president and CEO. Jack Strother retired from the board when he turned 90 in 2003.

Commercial Bank was founded in 1891. Jack Strother’s grandfather, Dr. John Wilson Strother, was the principal stockholder and first chairman of the board as well as the bank’s first president until his death in 1935. He was succeeded by his son Wick, and then Jack in 1956. Jack Strother served in that role until 1982 when he passed the title to his son Jack Strother, Jr., who is now bank chairman.

Jack Strother began working at the bank summers while he was in high school. Jack then attended the University of Kentucky where he served as football team manager for the Wildcats under Harry Gamage.

“[Being a manager] took me out of the small sphere in which I lived,” he told in 2009. “I made a trip or two with the team and had to do some of the financial parts for the team, handling meals and so forth. That gave me experience I didn’t get anywhere else. I have loved the football program ever since.” Strother is perhaps now the oldest supporter in Big Blue Nation. During his tenure at the University of Kentucky, he was roommate to Charles Russell, April Russell Perry’s grandfather. Perry is chairman and CEO of Kentucky Farmers Bank in Ashland, Ky.

Strother graduated in 1933 and returned home to work at the bank full-time.

In addition to his role at the bank, Strother was involved in the community and provided local leadership to organizations. He was a charter member of the Grayson Rotary Club back in 1939, two years before he met and married his wife of 76 years, Edith. She passed away this June, three days shy of her 101st birthday. The only time he was away from her was during his service in the U.S. Navy during World War II when he served in the Pacific.

He also was chair of the Grayson Utility Commission and chairman of Grayson’s First Church of Christ for many years.

Strother continues to work out twice a week at Kentucky Christian University and is highly thought of at the bank. As Strother’s co-worker, Jonathon Lewis, said, “He is a FINE man. We think the world of him.”

Community Bank of Grayson has $178 million in assets and three locations.