Kenny Renner passed away yesterday.
We always knew him as Uncle Kenny, even though we were not related. When my wife was in college she became acquainted with Lois, Kenny's sister-in-law. Tracy would often spend the weekend at Ben and Lois's home - weekends that often included family meals with bowls of steaming mashed potatoes and swiss steak made from venison. Kenny was always there with his quick wit and gentle spirit. When I married into the family, so to speak, I got to know Kenny, too.
For decades, Kenny cut hair in a shop on Farwell, Michigan's main street. His was the only place I was ever able to get a decent "flat-top" haircut. And though I wasn't in the neighborhood very often, I always made sure to stop in and get a trim when I was. His was exactly what you would expect of a Michigan barber shop. Pine siding on the walls. A stuffed "jackalope." A big mirror behind the barber chairs and Field and Stream next to a couple of seats where the next customer sat to wait his turn. (Or, just as often, someone who wandered in to shoot the breeze and left without ever getting a haircut.)
Kenny also ran one of the niftiest deer processing operations around. He and his family filled the garage with bucks every November. Deer were skinned in the garage and hung in a walk-in cooler before being tossed down a specially constructed chute into the basement where his sons, daughters and their various progeny worked at turning deer into "government beef." Kenny processed so many deer that he had to make sure to shoot his early on opening day - something he usually did.
It is appropriate that Kenny died on a Sunday, because Kenny is a Christian. As a pillar of the Farwell Church of Christ, Kenny and Jean were fixtures there every Sunday. These last several years have been hard for Kenny. With one health ailment after another, Kenny suffered in silence. Today he is free from all of that.
Psalm 116:15 says, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." None more precious than Kenny.
I'll see you in Heaven, brother. Do me a favor and start lining up good spots for my deer blind.