Monday, April 30, 2012

Kimberly Czar's Eulogy

By Kimberly Czar, Kenneth's niece

There are few people in this world dearer to me than my Uncle Kenneth. When I was growing up, he was one of my best friends and most excellent partner in mischief. Nobody has ever made me laugh harder or dream bigger. His intensely creative imagination and uniquely rebellious spirit color my outlook on life to this day, and if I’m lucky, will continue to do so for the rest of my life. He branded me with a nickname when I was a baby that sticks to this day. “Krumbly” because, according to him, I was always covered in crumbs. Kenneth came on most of our family vacations and camping trips with us and always made everything more fun and memorable than it would have otherwise been. I remember him helping my Father pack up the motorhome with supplies and gear for the 6 of us. It was much too early in the morning to be working so hard. He came into the house, panting and wiping his brow and proclaimed “I have arranged seating for 5. One of us must die.” He would often adopt an alter ego on these trips by the name of “Billy Hooter”. Billy was a little slow and rather off putting. He would skulk around, sticking his head in the window to ask for treats or deposit treasures he had found around the campsite - like a weird rock or a clump of burrs. Billy would get annoyed when dinner was taking too long and walk around with his knife and fork, threatening to ask other campers to feed him. I remember one instance where my folks had gone to the lodge for supplies and left Kenneth, me and my brothers alone at the campsite for what seemed to us much too long a time, so we dug a moat around the entrance to the camper and filled it with sticker bushes. He never wore anything but Levis, long sleeved, collared shirts and cowboy boots. No matter how hot it was or what the occasion, he was always looking dapper. He even jumped off the cliffs at Lake Powell and swam with me in his jeans and button down shirt. I think he did remove the boots for that though. His child-like sense of wonder and imagination was infectious and he liked to bring people into his world. He carved a gigantic pair of taloned bird feet out of wood and brought them on trips so he could strap them to his feet and walk around on the lake beaches leaving impossible footprints for people to ponder about later. Kenneth was both the best and the worst babysitter of all time. When my little brother was born, my mother had recruited Kenneth to stay with me and my older brother while she was in the hospital. She painstakingly wrote out instructions about our school schedules and routines, organized our vitamins into little packets for each day and even tried to teach him how to put barrettes in my hair. When the big day came, Kenneth made a big sign proclaiming “MAYOR KEN DAY! NO SCHOOL!!!” and put it up on the fridge. We spend the day eating junk food and playing games and then went to visit my Mother and new brother in the Hospital with uncombed hair and mismatched socks. He enjoyed causing mayhem and picking on the people he loved relentlessly. The following is list of random, snapshot memories in no particular order: He once replaced the apple in my lunchbox with a raw potato. He loved black licorice, buttermilk and liver with onions. Eew, eew, and eeeeeew! He once fixed the muffler on my car with a campbell's soup can and some wire. He had a propensity for rearranging your furniture at random when you were not at home. He named his dog Monty, after a bully who picked on him in school. He often asked “Are we having fun yet?” when things were at their most miserable. We sculpted a giant crocodile out of snow in my backyard, complete with a mouth full of icicle teeth. We used to have “ant man wars” on sheets of white paper where we would draw tiny stickmen and murder them in increasingly fantastical ways until the whole page was filled destruction. We continued doing this by mail even after I moved away. Kenneth often liked to say that he was not from this planet. I think it may have been true. His home planet was much more exciting and wondrous than ours. I am grateful that he took me there and let me experience it from time to time and my life is richer for it. In the words of Don McClean “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”

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  1. Wow .... Cheryl I wished I'd been lucky enough to have known your father. The love everyone had for him just shines through. I can tell he was quite a prankster and definately had a zest for life and a unconditional love of family. Each story that I read, just reinforced my thoughts more strongly with each new read. God, blessed you with one of his special angels here on earth. Hugs, Sue

  2. I I have very fond memories of Ken. Him and Dennis worked for us at Astra Glas of Utah. It was about repair and fiberglass fabrication company. He worked for us around 1976. He was always the life of the party. I remember I knew when I did payroll I wouldn't see them again for a few days unless I went to the biker bar to get them to stop the party and come back to work ��
    I'm so sorry to hear he's gone , he was a wonderful man and great friend.
    Mary Lou Sanders

  3. Thank you, Mary Lou. That was lovely.