So I wasn’t close with Bryan, but I am close with many members of his family who are deeply impacted by his loss. Most notably, his sweet wife and children. I am good friends with his sister’s in law, and brother’s in law too. One, Sydney, serves with me in primary. One, Paul, serves with Karl in scouts. Another is my visiting teacher, Shelly. Another was one of mine, Denise. His youngest child, Jojo, is in Lucas’s primary class. Bryan’s death has hit our little ward hard, and the waves of sorrow caused by his passing come often and sometimes unpredictably. I feel so unqualified to say anything about him or his death, only to say that even this many degrees removed from him, I feel so much sadness. His death has impacted me so much that I feel it at least important to add his picture an obituary here, in my family history.
My sadness starts of course at the pain and loss his little family feels. Then to the reality, we were about the same age, which is too young to leave the ones who love and need you. Then thoughts of his kids, who will more for him and yearn for him forever. Then to thought of my own children, and the reality of how fragile life is, and how it can all change at any moment.
I went to the viewing on Monday, and it was well attended. Full of family and friends. Poor Danielle, had just had knee surgery, and was doing her best to greet everyone. The young women of our ward, had a room full of children, apart from the viewing where they were watching what seemed like 20 kids. Near Bryan was of course, his wife, and then his father, mother, and siblings. They were all visibly distraught. I hugged Danielle and told her she was a saint for greeting everyone. She laughed. I had an awful conversation with his father, my fault, because I was so awkward. I told him a story about how Bryan had helped in primary just a few weeks ago, and he dad tearfully told me “he was our gentle giant.”
I was mistaken as a Reigns several times, which was fine.
Tuesday was the funeral.
During his service, which was beautiful, Bryan’s older brother Samuel spoke and shared a quote that has been repeating my head over and over:
“Don’t cry because it ended, smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
Bryan created a happy, peaceful, and meaningful life by treasuring every moment with those he loved. He sought daily to serve those around him with his gentle soul, willing hands, and sense of humor. He lived his life as a caretaker of valued moments, seeing in them the ties that bind for eternity.
His favorite moments were with his sweetheart, Danielle. A serendipitous set-up brought them together. After hundreds of hours spent talking on the phone and connecting through email, they finally met in person. Bryan said the moment he saw Danielle, he loved her and asked her to marry him. He treated their relationship as sacred and they married on August 4, 2007. His loyalty, kindness, and love formed a bedrock foundation for their marriage. As a father, this foundation gave his children a safe place to land and a safe place to begin again. He was an involved father that knew and loved each child for their unique gifts and talents. He created special moments each day by taking the time to be with them and attending every recital, play, and game. He is their hero; he made life fun, adventurous, and filled with love.
As a son, brother, brother-in-law, and friend, Bryan was known as the voice of reason, a rock of support, and a welcome haven from the world. He and Danielle loved hosting family dinners and epic Halloween parties. Here he showcased his legendary cooking skills, expertly combining tastes and textures that fed and delighted the masses of family and friends.
As a steadfast member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Bryan held the Priesthood honorably and presided with Christ-like love and service. He served a full-time mission from 2000-2002 in the Brazil São Paulo South mission. He served faithfully as Executive Ward Clerk, Young Men’s President, Elders Quorum Teacher, and in the Sunday School Presidency.
Bryan was born and raised in Woodland, California. His childhood was happy with his close-knit family; he was his father’s gentle giant. He graduated from Woodland High School and earned his Eagle Scout rank in 1998. He worked for the Yolo County Recorder’s Office and went to Woodland Community College. He later moved to Orem, Utah and completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems at Utah Valley University in April 2011. He loved working in the I.T. department at Revere Health from 2011 until the present.
Bryan knew that the devoted daily activities of life are what build relationships of trust and love. His loss is so keenly felt, yet the moments he shaped and protected stay. When his family and friends serve others, he is here. When his children choose faith and bravery, he is here. When Danielle feels of his love for her, he is here. When we take the time to cherish every moment with those we love, Bryan is here in his quiet way, letting us know he never left.
Bryan Kennedy is survived by his wife, Danielle (Raynes) Kennedy, and their children: Charlotte (9yrs), Oliver (7yrs), and Josephine (3yrs). His parents: Kurt and Vickie (Joslin) Kennedy, and his siblings: Lora Kennedy, Samuel (Trista) Kennedy, Kristen (Jeremy) Hansen, Emalee (Benjamin) Kodra, Derek Kennedy; six nieces, and one nephew. His in-laws: Janelle (Nathan) Gerber, Michelle Raynes, Denise (Paul) Pitcher, Alison (Marshall) Smith, Melanee Raynes, Stefanie (David) Anderson, Jonathan (Daniela) Raynes, Derrick (Alexa) Raynes, David (Sydney) Raynes; 13 nieces and 14 nephews, with a grandnephew on the way.
Monday, July 1, 2019; 6:00pm–8:00pm Walker Sanderson Funeral Home (646 E 800 N, Orem, UT)
Tuesday, July 2, 2019; 10:00am–11:00am Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem, UT)
Tuesday, July 2, 2019; 11:30am, Orem Utah Cascade Stake Center (481 E Center St, Orem, UT)
Interment will be at the Orem City Cemetery (1520 N 800 E, Orem, UT) following the service at 1:30pm.
Condolences may be sent to the family at:www.walkersanderson.com