Brett's dad, who just turned 90 on January 5, is in his final days, if not hours, on this earth. What a life this man has lived. What a legacy he will be leaving behind. We sorrow with all of the Kearney family and wish it wasn't so, but last time we saw Dad Kearney (Kenneth J Kearney) he talked of his mother, the legendary Erma Lee Gordon Kearney Peck. He has been looking forward to seeing her again I'm sure. His father Michael Edward Kearney died when Dad Kearney was only two years old. As a young accountant he died after accidentally sticking himself with a lead pencil, leaving a widow and two sons. Antibiotics would have saved his life, but they didn't have the miraculous medicines of today. I'm sure Dad Kearney will be welcomed to heaven by his loving parents who have waited a long time to see their son again. He will also be welcomed by two of his children who have preceded him in death: Sommer and Danny.
The legacy that Dad Kearney leaves behind to continue on is a large one - twelve children who have looked to him as the family patriarch for a very long time. There will be a giant hole in our family with the passing of this man. As his daughter-in-law, who was very afraid of him long ago, I have seen a gruff man soften, or maybe I was the one who softened as I came to know him. Dad Kearney has been a devoted father who chauffeured children to school, dance lessons, nail appointments, and jobs. In fact he didn't stop driving until a few years ago. He has been a devoted husband. He is an adoptive father who accepted my Brett along with his sisters as his own. He has been a bishop, the family cook (his bread is legendary), an artist, a proud grandpa, and an energizer bunny these last ten years. We love you Grandpa Kearney, and we are grateful for all you have done to make our lives rich with your wisdom, love, and perspective.
*While I was downloading the pictures for this post, Kristy called and told us that Grandpa Kearney had just passed away peacefully with one last look at the loved ones in the room. Oh how I wish Brett could have been there. He loves his dad so much. This special dad is the one who took Brett, his two sisters, and mom to the Ogden Temple to be sealed as an eternal family. Oh how grateful we are for that blessing, especially now.