Kenton Lyle Tarbutton

April 3, 1957 ~ September 2, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old


Kenton Lyle Tarbutton was born in Norfolk, Virginia on April 3, 1957. He peacefully departed

this earth, surrounded by his wife and children, to join Jesus and heaven’s beauty on

September 2, 2023.

Kent’s life was a story of wonder. Running away from home via jet from Hawaii to Oklahoma at

14 yrs. old, being transformed from a troubled youth in a psychological boot camp in Maine to a

determined young man who obtained his GED and then his bachelor’s degree in psychology

from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. From there he learned the hotel business working for

his father, rising to be President of the Virginia Hotel Association. His most cherished property

was Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, which he purchased in 1998. His vision of creating a

Chetola Family and unforgettable memories for guests and their families was accomplished and

continues today.

Kent was many things to many people. He cast a wide net. He was a devoted and loving

husband, father, brother and son. He was a mentor to many as they navigated their early

years of life. He was a leader who loved his work family. He was a writer and public speaker,

who touched the hearts of those who read or heard his words. He was a true selfless friend to

those who needed a hand up, or a wise or encouraging word. He was our inspiration to have

fun, create laughter, travel to distant lands, savor relationships, love deeply and share God’s

wonders on earth.

Kent was selflessly active in local communities and served on many non-profit boards in

Blowing Rock and Boone. He also contributed Chetola Resort services in support of many local

non-profit organizations.

Kent called himself a methobapterian, meaning he had been a member of several church

denominations. His love of God was foremost in his life, expressing it in everything he did. To

hear Kent’s testimony of how God loved Kent throughout his life, you can view it at Video

Interviews – The Journey at

Kent leaves behind his loving family of his wife Shelley Tarbutton, his children and their spouses

Morgan Tarbutton and Dustin Coffey, Chelsea and John Mathis, Lennon and Megan Redford,

and Jesse Redford, his brothers and their spouses Greg and Annie Tarbutton, Todd and Lisa

Woolston, his stepmother Layne Tarbutton, his grandchildren Quinn, Emma, Soren, Hunter and

Hailey, his nieces and nephews, his dog Willow, his grand dogs Stark, Drake, Bailey, Minnie, and

Scout. He was reunited with his parents Rachael and Stan Renar and Till Tarbutton in heaven.

Kent’s Celebration of Life service will be held on September 17, 2023 at 2 pm under the outside

tent at Chetola Resort, in Blowing Rock, NC. A private reception for family will be held

afterwards at his mother’s home on 630 Chetola Lake Drive, Blowing Rock, NC.

If you wish to honor Kent and his legacy of sharing with those in need, please join him in a gift

to AMOREM, 902 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, NC 28645, Hospitality House. P.O Box 309 Boone,

NC 28607 or High Country Caregivers, P.O. Box 3356 Boone, NC 29607.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at the website Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Tarbutton family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenton Lyle Tarbutton, please visit our floral store.

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Celebration of Life
September 17, 2023

2:00 PM
Blowing Rock, Chetola Resort, NC


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