Gary Lerude

March 25, 2021

Remembering Kenny

March 24, 2021

The woman's voice on the voicemail message softly said she was calling on behalf of the family to tell me Kenny died this morning.

I knew this was coming, just not when. Several weeks ago, a former colleague of ours had emailed me, advising Kenny was receiving hospice care. There was no more that could be done to stop the brain cancer that had appeared some two decades ago, despite two surgeries and how many rounds of chemo?

I called back. She said she was sorry to have left a voicemail message but was trying to get the news out to a list of people who were close to Kenny. She told me he died peacefully, at home, that the family would have a private service this weekend.

Tonight, I checked Facebook, society's forum for sharing joys and sorrows, and saw the family's post and a stream of remembrances and condolences. I added my own, distilling the thoughts I've carried with me over the years.

I have so many fond memories of Kenny: his good nature, love of family, infectious laugh, and indomitable spirit in the face of adversity. He will forever be a role model for those who knew him. To you, his family, I wish comfort and peace. It has been such a long journey for you, and it will continue as you grieve this loss.

Some people touch you, inspire you. Not by great works. By their humanity. They are gentle souls you like to spend time with. When they're gone, we lose the light they brought to make our lives better.