A life well lived
By Liam Kennedy

Marilyn Templeman, 70, walks the farm in Caneyville that her husband Glenn Templeman had purchased in the late 1970s and where they had planned to build a house until high interest rates jumped during the Carter administration.

It’s 1974, Glenn and Marilyn Templeman are in their early 20’s and have been married for about a year. Glenn, a hard-nosed and direct man, called Marilyn out of the blue with simple instructions, “I need you to clean your car out and meet me downtown.” Marilyn, confused and equally bewildered thought to herself “now why in the hell did he sell my car?” When she showed up to meet Glenn, she came to learn that he had traded her Buick plus some cash for a 1966 Chevy Chevelle in lemonwood yellow.

Glenn, better known as “Tinker,” was a hardworking entrepreneur who had a knack for engineering. Although he quit school at 17, he learned amongst men in a machine shop in Louisville before coming back to Caneyville where he met and married Marilyn in 1973.

Together they lived above his mother’s garage where he ran a repair service business for many years until renovating the garage into a living room. “Glenn would always promise to me that if I stuck with him, one day he would build me a house,” Marilyn recalls.

In the late 1970s, Glenn hatched a plan to buy land in order to build a house. Once again, he called Marilyn out of the blue and had her come down to the bank to sign papers for a small farm he had purchased. Around this same time President Jimmy Carter’s administration raised interest rates so aggressively that it caused a nationwide recession resulting in 18% inflation rates. Glenn was never able to build the house on the hill as he had planned, but instead had to park his farming equipment and make ends meet.

Throughout the 1980s the Templeman’s survived however they could. Glenn worked in factories and as a logger, farmer, mechanic and handyman while Marilyn worked in various cleric positions. “Times were tough for the first 20 years we were married,” Marilyn says. “We made our marriage work though. We were honest to one another and never ran out of laughter.”
Then in 1993, Glenn asked Marilyn to help him start Do-All Construction. Neither one of them knew the first thing about construction. But through their ingenuity and hard work, it grew into a successful business.

In 2018, Glenn began to build their dream house, a large and beautiful white brick home with a 10-car garage close to the center of town. At the same time, he underwent the process of having a friend restore the first classic car he ever bought with Marilyn: their 1966 Chevy Chevelle.

Then in 2019, Glenn was hospitalized after breaking his ankle on a job site. Subsequently, he fell ill. Although doctors ran comprehensive tests, his illness could never be pinpointed.
Glenn “Tinker” Templeman, 70, passed away on Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, 2019. While Glenn was never able to see the Chevelle finished or the house he built, he managed to keep his promise to Marilyn. “It was like losing a husband, child and best friend all in one. He never even got to see or live in the house he finished for me.”

Compounding Marilyn's loss of her husband, the world shut down a few weeks later due to the COVID-19 pandemic that rocked the world. In order to cope with the stress, Marilyn moved her mother, Earlene Mudd, into the home meant for her and Glenn.

In 2022, Marilyn made the difficult decision to close the doors of Do-All and auction the heavy equipment, trailers, cars and toys that belonged to Glenn.

She now spends her time being the independent woman that Glenn had encouraged her to be, and volunteering and giving back to the community that she has lived in for 52 years. She has a vibrant and active life.

“I was in Girl Scouts years ago; I started probably about the sixth grade. We had a leader named Ms. Falk, and we didn’t realize it at the time what she had devoted us young girls. We learned responsibility from her and helping the community,” Marilyn says. “Now I see myself traveling the world, it’s a little bit farfetched but I want to see Mount Rushmore. It’s on my bucket list.”

Marilyn looks at images of Glenn in the living room of the home he had built for them. Glenn passed before he could move into the home.

In 1973, Glenn purchased two wedding rings for Marilyn and himself for $158. Although Marilyn doesn’t wear her ring often any more, she still keeps it close to Glenn’s.

Glenn passed away on Thanksgiving Day in 2019 after complications from an unknown disease. When Marilyn went to pick out a headstone for him, she saw the giant onyx “T” and selected it as a representation to Glenns larger than life personality.

Marilyn sits in the 1966 Chevy Chevelle that Glenn bought for them a year after they were married. In 2018 Glenn had their friend Dallas Burden restore the Chevelle. Glenn passed away before he could see it finished.

Marilyn and other volunteers spread a tarp at the Caneyville Community Center in preparation for a benefit dinner for a local man who lost his leg in a motorcycle accident.

Marilyn celebrates after winning a roll during bunco night with a group of women from Caneyville.

Marilyn checks on her mother, Earlene Mudd, before leaving the house to run errands. Marilyn moved her mother into her home during the COVID-19 pandemic to be closer to her as well as cope with the stress of losing Glenn.

After moving to Caneyville in 1970 from Louisville, Marilyn met Glenn and they would eventually marry in 1973. When Glenn passed away, Marilyn said she lost her business partner, life partner and child all in one.

Marilyn speaks with Jerry Walker, 62, from the balcony of her home. Behind her is the office where she and Glenn ran Do-All Construction and the building where they had stored their construction equipment.