Kenneth Lyle Bounds Dies

Kenneth Lyle Bounds Dies

As an FBI agent, Bounds escorted James Earl Ray to jail.

Kenneth Lyle Bounds, 85, of Springfield died on June 11, at Fairfax Hospital after a brief illness. Bounds was a native of Kansas City, Mo. and had lived in the Springfield area since 1962.

Bounds was a graduate of the University of Missouri, where he was a four-sport letterman in football, basketball, track and baseball. He was on the Missouri Football team that participated in two Gator Bowls and made a touchdown catch in the 1949 Gator Bowl.

Like many of his generation, World War II interrupted Bounds’ college career. He served in the Pacific as a U.S. Marine and saw combat action on Guam and Okinawa and was a recipient of the Purple Heart. After the war, he served a brief stint as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Bounds went on to become a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He taught firearms and defensive tactics at the FBI National Academy in Quantico, where he trained the first female special agents in the FBI.

Furthermore, he served in many capacities as a special agent working bank robberies and kidnappings. During his time working Civil Rights, he served a major role in the security detail that brought James Earl Ray, who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr., back to Memphis, Tenn. for trial.

Upon retiring from the FBI, Bounds served as the head of security at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. for 5 1/2 years. He returned to Springfield in 1980 where he volunteered his time working with local charitable organizations and in recognition of his efforts he received the Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award from Gov. Wilder. He was also earned a lifetime membership in the PTA for his lengthy service at West Springfield High School.

Bounds is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Jean Bounds, and five children and 15 grandchildren: son Dennis Lyle Bounds of Seattle, Wash. and his wife, Debra Angeline Bounds and their three children, Timothy Lyle Bounds, Angeline Kathleen Bounds and Steven Michael Bounds; daughter Lissa Ann Monroe of Little Rock, Ark. and her husband, Steven Colmore Monroe and their four children, Michael Colmore Monroe and his wife Kaci Brown Monroe, Mathew Kenneth Monroe; Mark Samuel Monroe and Miles Joshua Monroe; son John Bedell Bounds of Thousand Oaks, Calif. and his wife, Deborah Lee Bounds and their two children, Joshua Ryan Bounds and Christopher James Bounds; daughter Kathryn Bounds Arbia of Springfield and her husband Nick Arbia and their two children, Angela Jean Arbia and Nicholas Joseph Arbia; son James Kenneth Bounds of Warrenton and his wife Patricia Berg Bounds and their four children, Daniel James Bounds, Kelly Kristine Bounds, Samantha Jean Bounds and John Elliot Bounds.

A Memorial Service will take place Friday, July 23, at 11 a.m. at St. Bernadette Church in Springfield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Special Olympics Washington, where grandson Timothy has competed over the years, via online at or by mail to: Special Olympics Washington, 2150 N. 107th St., Suite 220, Seattle, WA 98133.