In Memory of William Kenny
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I’ll miss him.” With that one sentence Rev Tom Bogle summed up the thoughts of the many people who packed Maybole Baptist Church last week for the funeral of Big Bill Kenny, a former Maybole Citizen of the Year.. In a eulogy filled with humour Mr Bogle captured the very essence of Bill, recounting many anecdotes from Bill’s life. He said, “Billy, like a lot of others including my mum, didn’t take up his place in the Academy. If he had, goodness knows what he’d have become – a surgeon, a lawyer, an MP or what?

“He did become a fundraiser for charities, the definitive Santa Claus for generations of children, a devoted husband to Margaret, a fraught father who cared deeply, a doting grandpa and great grandpa.  “He was a quoter of Burns, a faithful brother – and barman – to Lodge No. 11 and a man who had no time for fools. I’m glad he tolerated me even though I put Killie FC and football in the same sentence.” Telling of Bill’s time in the Royal Army Service Corps, Mr Bogle said he had fought Freddie Mills, who was the world light heavyweight boxing champion from 1948 to 1950. Later in life he made extra money for his family by becoming a bouncer.

“I’ve known him for just over 13 years, Mr Bogle continued,” and met him for the first time when he was dressed up at Maybole Gala, he loved to dress up. He should have been an actor, I think he’d have made a great Hagrid in the Harry Potter films. “What he did make was a good friend to me, to my wife, to Maybole. He made me laugh, usually with him though at him twice on his 80th birthday when we had to go to watch Killie as the Ayr game was off and secondly when he was smartly dressed and walked into the Dalrymple Community Hall for a surprise party expecting a dancing display. That shut him up - for 3 minutes.”

He went on to tell of Bill’s many personal kindnesses to people including those who used the local minibus, and the fun and games at the gala with Bill thinking these were not noticed. “But they were,” he added, “and I was chuffed when Maybole chose him as Citizen of the Year. It was richly deserved. “We are not just here to give a eulogy – kind words – about Billy but to commend him into God’s care, the God who loaned him to us for 80 years. What does the Lord require of us?

To do what is just, to show constant love and to live in humble fellowship. Billy was always honest, straight and fair; he loved deeply - not just his own; and he was truly humble. We can freely commit him into God’s care. Bill is survived by his wife Margaret; his children Linda, Stuart, Billy, Dawn, Scott and Lorraine; his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.