Kenny was born into a close-knit family and grew up steeped in creativity. Son of Theodore and LaVerne Smith, his dad was a painter and interior decorator, his mom a housekeeper with a passion for gardening and culinary art, his grandmother a seamstress and oil painter. He had an affinity for antiquing, architecture, decorating, personal style, flying, and later in life developed a passion for woodworking, completing many pieces for sale and gifting to friends and family.
While Kenny spent the last 20 years in Louisville, Kentucky, he was a Cincinnati native and proud member of the community of Avondale. He always remembered the essence of the neighborhood as it once was. He attended Samuel Ack Junior High School, and Hughes High School.
As the youngest of four, he was protected and guided by the mentorship of his siblings, Billyie, Evann, and Dennis. The premature losses of Evann and Dennis left him in mourning for the rest of his days.
He was the doting father of two children, Eric and Imani, as the result of his twenty-year marriage to Angela. After their divorce, he began a new chapter in life and subsequently forged a twenty-year relationship with Laura Wagner that prompted him to relocate to Louisville, KY.
He had a long career in information technology, sharpening his skills here in Cincinnati, working for fine institutions like Western Southern Life and the City of Cincinnati before moving to Louisville and joining Bellarmine University, Heaven Hill Distillery and finally the University of Louisville.
Although he was very nostalgic and retrospective in his relationships, he never shied away from a fresh start. In his final years he was a brand-new homeowner, started a new job, and began to explore new interests such as learning how to play the drums and the guitar. He always pursued education and personal growth.
He had a zest for life with a fun and exuberant personality that led him to maintain relationships that spanned over decades. He was a passionate communicator who looked for any chance to fellowship with family and friends, talking for hours on end. He was always the last one to leave the party, but today the party is for him.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his father, Theodore Clemins Smith (1965), stepfather, Samuel Edward Waters (1983), mother, LaVerne A. Smith Waters (1987), grandmother, Ethel Rachel Beatty (1995), and brothers Theodore Evann Smith (2004) and Dennis M. Smith (2015).
He leaves to mourn his passing while forever cherishing his memory two children, son, Eric C. Smith, daughter, Imani A. Smith, one sister, Billyie A. Smith, three nephews, Dennis M. Smith, Jr. (Latrice), Andrew Grace (Carol); Jeffrey Riley, four nieces, Jeana A. Smith-Blythe (Michael), Tannique A. Smith-Brown (Kerry), Tasha R. Givens (Jeremy), Bonnita Riley-Philips, and hosts of great and great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
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