Obituary of Samuel Francis Kenny (Inspector, Ret’d)
Samuel Francis “Sam” Kenny (Inspector, Ret’d) was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 18, 1949, to Dr. George and Winnifred (MacAulay) Kenny. His death occurred in Fredericton, New Brunswick on April 12, 2023. He grew up in Hantsport, Nova Scotia, and often expounded on the benefits of living in this wonderful small town.
Although it was not always apparent, Sam was well educated. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Acadia, a Bachelor of Education from Dalhousie, and a Masters of Education Degree from the University of New Brunswick. He did a short stint as a teacher, but decided he had a different calling, and at the age of 31, he trained in Regina to become a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He enjoyed a wonderful career for 31 years with postings in Saint John, Campbellton, Hillsborough, Fredericton, Oromocto, Minto, Ottawa, and Charlottetown. Throughout his career he had wonderful support and encouragement from his commanding officers.
He developed close relationships with people in those communities and his exploits were legendary. He was a member of the emergency response team, when stationed in New Brunswick, and despite being much older than most of his teammates, he loved the opportunity to train (read: wrestle) with his colleagues. Apparently, Sam never lost a match during his career. Until this current one. He found solace in the fact that everyone loses the last one.
Ironically, the debilitating back injuries which caused him excruciating pain, and shortened his life, stemmed from the rescue of a person stranded by a high tide on the Bay of Fundy, in the 1980’s. This event led to ruptured discs, two back surgeries, and serious spinal deformities.
Sam leaves his wife, Donna Dawkins, and her children, Sarah Pacey (Steve Wishart) of Florenceville, and Simon Pacey (Holly Goodwin) and their children, Desmond and Marigold, of Fredericton. He is also survived by his children, Meghan (Kristi Kemp) and his grandson, River, of Hamilton, Ontario, and his son, Rob Brown (Lori) of Collingwood, Ontario. Sam adored his grandchildren, and patiently taught them skills that will enhance their lives.
Also grieving his loss are his brother, Richard Kenny (Cindy Wedge) of Charlottetown, PEI, and his sister, Anna Allen (David) of Windsor, Nova Scotia. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Carolyn, of Tillsonburg, Ontario.
Sam has relatives and friends galore in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario, and made annual pilgrimages to reconnect with them.
In 2002, Sam was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Award, to honour his contributions to his community, particularly in the fight against domestic violence. He was also active in the employee assistance program within the RCMP. He particularly enjoyed working with the youth where he was stationed, always engaging them to be part of the solution to problems that existed in their community.
Sam loved to work out. Wherever he was posted, he made daily use of the workout facilities. He was a strong runner, competing in the Cabot Trail Relay several times. He loved running the steep inclines that other runners hated, notably Cape Smoky in Cape Breton, and the hills in Odell Park and Regent Street. He played hockey at the university level, and thereafter with any team that would have him. He was particularly good at play in the corners. His last team was the Minto Miners, and the tournaments in Newfoundland produced endless stories. Sam also loved restoring and refurbishing old houses. He attempted all jobs, from parging basement walls, to plumbing, wiring, roofing, adding additions to houses and finish carpentry. His properties were always beautifully maintained. He loved to play guitar, and was known to belt out a tune on occasion.
Because of his relentless pain and diminished quality of life, Sam chose to have a medically assisted death, and he took comfort in knowing how and when his life would end. The nurses and doctors who worked with him through this process were empathetic, and very professional, making it a positive and enlightening experience.
Sam requested that there be no fuss made about his death. He was ready and happy to go. There will be no visitation or funeral. However, we know his friends and family will remember him in appropriate ways. Lots of the stories will be retold, and will likely begin with, “Remember the time that Sam….”
His was a life, well lived, and rewarding to the end. Officer Sam Kenny is now, 10-35. Off duty.