“He had found his calling”: Memorial honors life of former Middleboro firefighter

Jan 8, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — Family, friends and first responders gathered at the Middleboro fire station on Saturday, Jan. 6 to remember retired firefighter David Kenney, who passed away on Dec. 29 at the age of 57.

Kenney was also a veteran who served in the United States Army as a paratrooper during the Gulf War.

All attendees gathered in the parking lot before the event. First responders entered the building first, followed by everybody else.

Kenney’s eldest brother, Richard, and his daughter, Emma, spoke about Kenney’s life in front of the sizable audience.

“I can tell you all with absolutely no doubt how annoyed Dave is that you all took time out of your busy lives to be here today,” said Richard.

“Dave worked two, three, four jobs at the same time — and then he [joined] the fire department; he had found his calling. He was perfect for this,” said Richard. “He came back from the Gulf war and [lived] life like a champ. He met Ellen, started a family, took care of his kids, and worked his ass off.”

Emma Kenney gave the eulogy at the memorial. She recalled a time when David drove two hours to Westfield before Emma started college there, just to follow around the bus to tell her where it would stop.

Kenney was “a man who you always knew you could count on to take care of you whenever you needed help,” said Emma. “I could stand up here and talk about my dad for hours and hours, but let's be honest — he’d hate that.”

Pastor Bruce Smith of the Central Congregational Church in Middleboro also spoke about Kenney and led the audience in prayer. Smith explained that the church was once on fire, and Kenney was one of the firefighters who came in and saved it from burning to the ground.

The Kenney Family was then presented with an American Flag by members of the United States Army.