Charismatic, devoted, compassionate, and a friend to all. Those are just a few of the words used by those who knew Kenneth “Kenny” Robertson, a Marine Lance Corporal from Hardin County.
Robertson died June 20 as he kayaked at Freeman Lake in Elizabethtown. He was 19.
“Kenny was a beautiful soul … He will be greatly missed,” Amy Scheidemantel wrote on a Life Tributes page on the Manakee Funeral Home website.
Sheidemantel was just one of several to share their thoughts and memories of Robertson on the page.
Additionally, Tammy Watts of Oklahoma wrote they met Robertson in Raisin City, California, in June.
“He was such as friendly young man. We enjoyed getting to be in service with him and was blessed seeing him get in and enjoy the blessings of the Lord. He was so excited to be back in church and to know that though he had been that prodigal son, he was so thankful that the Father was waiting with open arms to welcome him back,” she wrote. “... We know from experience that the family will never be the same and that the pain will ease but never go away but it’s such a blessing to know that Kenny had made things right with the Lord and he is at Home with Jesus.”
Robertson gave his heart and life over to God while serving at Camp Pendleton in California.
Along with his desire to share Jesus and His love with everyone, Robertson wanted to be involved in making the community a better place. His dream was to be a police officer and help others. As such, Robertson spent much time at the Radcliff Police Department and had many friends there, including Capt. Willie Wells.
Robertson met Wells three or four years ago through a community event the department hosted at McDonald’s.
“Ever since that day, he would show up here at the police department, sometimes weekly, sometimes daily, just all the time. He would find a way up here,” Wells said. “He was very much interested in becoming a police officer. … He was a really good kid.”
Wells said Robertson had a desire to help people and had a “heart of gold.”
“All he wanted to do was help people. That’s what he told me ever since I met him,” he said.
While stationed stationed in California, Wells said Robertson told him that every weekend he would board a train, $56 one way, and travel to the church he attended.
“I said, ‘Kenny, is the church helping you out any? That can be expensive.’ He smiled at me and said, ‘There is no price you can put on a relationship with our God,’ ” Wells said. “That’s what kind of guy he was. He was just awesome, kind-hearted, good-spirited. I don’t think he had a bad bone in him.”
Robertson was also actively involved in the Elizabethtown Police Department Teen Citizens Police Academy and EPD police cadet.
In a July 23 Facebook post, the Elizabethtown Police Department wrote that Robertson “was a charismatic and outgoing young man and a friend to many of our staff members. … Our most sincere thoughts and prayers go out to everyone impacted by this tragedy. Even as a young man, Kenny was caring and compassionate. In his honor, we encourage you to do something kind for a fellow citizen.”
Elizabethtown City Councilman Virgil Willoughby, a former EPD officer, said he couldn’t think of enough accolades to bestow upon Robertson.
“He was one of the finest young men I know,” he said.
Willoughby met Robertson when he was around 10-years-old. His dad brought him to visit EPD. He said Robertson was “eat up with being a police officer.” And ever since that first visit, Robertson remained in touch, getting to know Willoughby and other officers. Willoughby has eight girls adopted from China. He said Robertson remembered each of their names and would pray for them.
Willoughby said Robertson will be forever missed, but it’s not goodbye. It’s I’ll see you later. As a Christian, Willoughby said it gives him great comfort to know that Robertson knew the Lord.
A balloon release in Robertson’s honor is at 7 p.m. today at Freeman Lake. Everyone is invited.
Robertson’s funeral will be noon Thursday at Manakee Funeral Home in Elizabethtown with the Rev. Tim Sargent officiating and the Revs. Denver Wood and Jamie Ellington and Willoughby to assist. Burial with military honors follows in Kentucky Veterans Cemetery-Central in Radcliff.
Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and continues from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday at the funeral home.
Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1417 or firstname.lastname@example.org.