Roland T. Vories

Roland T. Vories IV, of Newport began working for the Coca Cola Company in 1936, while he was in high school. He was a staunch and loyal representative whose enthusiasm never flagged in his 60-year career.

His penchant for sales and developing distribution plans for school sports programs and businesses, helped open doors for a career in politics as well.

"My dad was a Coke man through and through," said his son, Gary Vories of Alexandria. "My brothers and I always kidded him about saying, 'I can put up with a lot of things, but, if I ever catch you drinking a Pepsi, that's it.'"

Vories said they never tested to see what 'it' was. He said his father was so loyal to the company that when his parents dined in a restaurant using a competitor's beverages, they never went back.

Mr. Vories died Monday, July 29, at Rosedale Green Nursing Home in Covington. He was 95.

"Most people will know my father from three places, the Coke Company, sports and politics," his son said.

Mr. Vories began working with Coca Cola as a delivery man. He rose to sales representative, supervisor and then the manager of the company's facility in Latonia.

His career followed his life's path through graduation from Newport High School, serving as a pilot in the Army Air Corps during World War II, flying bombers and gliders, marrying Elizabeth Ann Boswell, raising their three sons and his involvement in the city of Newport and Campbell County politics.

He loved sports and was a co-founder of the Campbell County Pee Wee Football League, was a winning pitcher for the Shields Realty Softball Team when they played in the first World Tournament in Louisville. He became a manager of the Shields Realty Knothole Team, winning several national championships. He was inducted into the Knothole Hall of Fame and the Northern Kentucky High School Hall of Fame.

Mr. Vories retired from Coca Cola – twice. The first time was in 1988; the second was in 1996 when he was 78 years old.

Following his first retirement, the company asked him to return to work as a government affairs officer. He knew many people in Frankfort and Washington, D.C. He was able to discuss bottle bills and other issues relating to the industry.

His political involvement began in the 1960s when he served on the Newport City Council. He was the mayor of Newport in the early 1970s, and then a member of the Campbell County Commissioners through the late 1990s.

During these years, Mr. Vories met Presidents John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon.

His son told the story of a meeting with Nixon. Mr. Vories was a participant in a mayors conference at the White House. During the dinner, two members of the Secret Service approached him.

He wondered what was wrong. The men escorted Mr. Vories into a room where he found himself face to face with the president.

Earlier, he had written a letter to President Nixon about a revenue sharing plan between the federal government and cities. The President wanted to discuss the program with him. Mr. Vories told his son, they talked for quite some time.

He received a thank you letter from the president, which the family has framed.

During his term as a Campbell County commissioner and Campbell County juvenile officer, Mr. Vories was instrumental in procuring federal grants to help build Grand Towers in Newport, I-471, the AA Highway, Taylor's Landing and Pendery Park.

He was a member of the Lawler-Hanlon VFW Post in Newport.

"After more than 40 years in politics, using his slogan, 'to faithfully serve the community, the citizens and our youth' - well - that pretty well fits him. He did just that," his son said.

His wife, Elizabeth; son, Richard Vories and brother, Les Vories, died previously. Other survivors include his son, Kent Vories of Greendale, Ind.; daughter-in-law, Pat Vories of Newport; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. with service following Monday at Muehlenkamp-Erschell Funeral Home, Fort Thomas. Burial with military honors will be in the Evergreen Cemetery, Southgate. Memorials: Newport High School Athletic Fund, 900 East Sixth Street, Newport, KY 41071 or to Campbell County Knothole.

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Published in the Kentucky Enquirer from Aug. 5 to Aug. 6, 2013