We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Wilson Park Funeral Home - Rochester
Kenneth Albert Wells Jr. (“Big Kenny”) passed away on Sunday, September 4th at his home surrounded by family and loved ones. He was 82 years old.
Kenny was born on July 31, 1940 in East St. Louis to parents Mary and Kenneth Wells Sr. He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Jeannette Moore, or “Red” as he often called her, on July 6, 1963. They were married for 59 beautiful years and had one child together, Kenneth Wells III (wife Mary). He is also survived by his three grandchildren Josh (Morgan), Jeremy (Gage) and Kari, his great grandchild and namesake Kenneth Wells IV, and so many others who were like family to him.
Kenneth had a career for decades as a parole officer with the Department of Corrections, a job he loved caring for kids like they were his own. He retired briefly before continuing to work with troubled youth as the Director of the Attention Homes in Springfield, IL. Kenny was an avid golfer and loved fishing. Him and Jeanette lived in the Lake of the Ozarks for several years and enjoyed everything about lake life and their community there. But all of these things are just facts. Pieces of trivia. And as important as they are, they fall incredibly short of describing the man that he was.
What stood out about Kenny to those who knew and loved him was his deep, unconditional love for people – whether he knew them for 50 years or five minutes. He was a man who would give a stranger anything they needed but not waste a dime on himself. He was truly a servant of God on earth – laser-focused on doing what the Lord wanted him to in every situation.
A man of deep integrity and character, Kenny modeled what it looked like to be honest and do what is right, even when it was hard. His examples of faith, love and care for others inspired the people around him to be better and love the Lord deeper. He is now living in paradise with his Lord and Savior, “Daddy” as he so affectionately addressed him in prayer countless times. Anyone who knew Kenny would tell you that the most important thing in his life was his relationship with Christ. And countless lives were impacted for eternity because they had the privilege of knowing him.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, September 10 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Wilson Park Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St. Rochester, IL 62563. A celebration of life will be held at Real Life Church, 2701 Hermitage Road in Springfield, on October 2, from 2:00-4:00PM. In lieu of flowers, please send donations either to Real Life Church in Springfield, IL or to the Alzheimer’s Association.