Robert "Tom" Clopton, 79, of Elizabethtown, formerly of Magnolia, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021, at Baptist Health Hardin.
He was founder and CEO of Tekno Inc. in Cave City. Some of Tom's many awards include, 1994, '95 and '96, Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S.; Manufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year '96 by Business First of Greater Louisville; Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year '97 by U.S. Small Business Administration; and he and Muhammad Ali were awarded two out of five Most Outstanding Kentuckian Awards by the Louisville Chamber of Commerce and Techno Awards.
Tom held nearly 40 patents with U.S. Patent Office; worked at American Saw & Tool, Multimetals, Tube Turners of Louisville, SKF Tyson Bearing and Eaton Axle Company. He also worked on projects for the Alaskan Pipeline and NASA's first lunar lander.
He was a graduate LaRue County High School Class of 1960 and attended Western Kentucky University and University of Louisville afterwards. A graduate journeyman machinist and tool and die maker, he served at South Fork Baptist, Knox's Creek Baptist and Glasgow Baptist churches and prayed daily for his church, family, friends, neighbors, employees and colleagues.
Tom was a world traveler, visiting Europe, South America and all over North America for business and pleasure and lived and farmed in LaRue, Hart, Barren and Hardin counties of Kentucky.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hannah and Leon Clopton of Magnolia.
Tom is survived by wife, Brenda; sons, Troy and Trevor; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
The funeral is at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at South Fork Baptist Church near Hodgenville. Burial follows in the church cemetery.
Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Dixon-Rogers Funeral Home in Magnolia and after 9 a.m. Saturday at the church.
His favorite verse was Luke 10:27: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself."
One of Tom's sayings was "Don't ever let what other people think of you inhibit or limit. It only matters what you think of yourself. Other peoples' opinions don't matter. Only what you think of yourself will change you and the world around you."
Published by The News-Enterprise from Sep. 13 to Sep. 18, 2021.