At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
To the family of Kenny Elkins
Please send to:
Life Story Funeral Home
120 S. Woodhams
Plainwell, MI 49080
We will then forward all contributions to the family
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Much can be said about the life of Kenny Elkins, yet the one outstanding quality he will indeed be remembered was his love of family and the Lord. A likable fellow, Kenny never met a stranger and was well respected by many. He loved nothing more than having those he loved by his side and good friends to keep him company. A big teaser at heart, Kenny could needle the best of them to no end. And with ways all his own, he wasn’t satisfied until it brought laughter to his day. A special man in the hearts of many, Kenny will be fondly remembered for leaving an undeniable mark in the lives of those who came his way.
The end of World War II brought much prosperity to America well into the late 1940s. Moviegoers continued to enjoy flicks starring Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman, and gangly crooner Frank Sinatra introduced his hit song, “New York, New York”. The new Buick Roadmaster was the shape of things to come for the auto industry, and the post-war baby boom was in full swing. Yet in the small village community of Thacker, West Virginia, Russell and Bertha (Anderson) Elkins were experiencing a baby boom of their own on September 10, 1950 when they welcomed the birth of their son, Kenneth into their arms.
One of 15 children in his bustling household, Kenny grew up alongside his siblings, Roger, Ruth, Phyllis, Barbara, Russell Jr., Doug, Johnny, Rick, David, Jim, Robert, Jerry, Danny, and Jackie. His father was a hard working coal miner while his mother remained at home as a busy homemaker. When Kenny was around five years old his family moved to the rural community of Orangeville, Michigan. As a kid he and his brothers hunted down pop cans to cash in, often rewarding themselves with one of their favorite candy bars. The boys found adventure and challenge in flicking stones and coins, and while quite young, it was often said the Kenny has a "bb gun for fingers" doing so! Even though there were many of them, Kenny and his siblings were very close. Everyone took care of each other and always looked out for one another well into their later years.
Kenny attended the local schools and after his 11th grade year he left Martin High School behind in search of work. It wasn’t long before he met the young woman he would come to know and love, Sandy. They met through mutual friends, albeit a small community and everyone knew everyone, they finally clicked. Kenny was 19 when he began dating Sandy when she was 17. They dated for about a year and on May 1, 1971 they were happily married in nearby Otsego. The newlyweds made their home in Orangeville and remained living there for the rest of their days together.
A wonderful and proud father, Kenny and Sandy were blessed with the births of three children, Jodi, Brian, and Penny; and they each considered themselves Kenny’s favorite! To support his thriving household, Kenny worked for Grand Rapids Die Cast on the assembly line and as a Hi-lo driver. For extra income he’d take on side jobs such as painting houses and handyman jobs, and never hesitated getting out there to find extra work when needed.
Faith and family were Kenny’s top priorities. He possessed a quiet faith yet he led by way of example. He absolutely loved times spent with the kids at Mackinac Island, and camping at Silver Lake always proved to be a fun time for all. Kenny liked camping, especially sitting around the campfire sharing stories, giving everyone a hard time as he always did and recalling good times. When he became a grandfather, Kenny was truly in his element. He loved having them over, and he played a big part in raising them. Eight grandchildren in all, Kenny had a way of making Derek, Devin, Amber, Gage, Dakota, Logan, Shaylee, and Shane know they were the most important part of his life, and they truly were! He was especially thrilled at becoming a great-grandfather when little Kylie was born.
Kenny loved the Detroit Tigers and never missed a game. One of the highlighted experiences of Kenny’s life was the time he had dinner with country music star, George Jones. Kenny’s friend, Larry, knew him and one time out driving around they decided to just stop by!. When it came to cooking, Kenny pretty much stayed away from the kitchen with the exception of his famous bean cakes. In his free time he loved fishing anywhere they were biting, and he was known for tinkering and puttering out in the garage. He could be a little set in his ways, and liked taking the time to teach others how to do things “his way”. Kenny also liked a good game of cards, especially euchre, playing horseshoes and pool.
Throughout his life, Kenny always had a beloved canine companion by his side. He loved dogs, particularly his Benji, a teacup Yorkie that was "donated" to him by his granddaughter. In fact, Kenny’s family referred to him as the “dog whisperer.” As a jokester Kenny was always needling those around him about something. His little noises and poking could be annoying at times, but in the end, Kenny always managed to get a laugh or two, which was his ultimate goal. He loved making others happy. It was uplifting for him, and it brightened the days of others, too.
Kenny was on the quiet side, and if someone wasn’t a part of his family or someone he knew he appeared rather introverted, unless the conversation included talking about the Lord. A very caring and compassionate man, Kenny was respected, had integrity, and once someone became his friend, they were his friend for life. More than anything, Kenny held fast to his faith and he dearly loved his family. His entire life was about his wife, children and grandchildren, and he would not have wanted it any other way. A man after God’s own heart, Kenny was an inspiration and had a natural way of bringing out the best in people with his encouraging and positive nature. For these things and so much more, Kenny will be deeply missed and forever remembered in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
Kenneth “Kenny” Elkins, age 67, of Shelbyville passed away on Thursday, October 12, 2017. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Wednesday, October 18 from 2:30-7pm at Orangeville Pentecostal Church, Shelbyville, 49344. A funeral service will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, October 19 at the same location. Left to cherish Kenny’s memory is his wife of 46 years, Sandy; his children: Jodi (Scott Sitzer), Penny (Larry Holden), Brian (Heather) Elkins; grandchildren: Derek (Jamie), Devin (Sam), Amber (Trevor), Gage, Dakota, Logan, Shaylee, and Shane; great-granddaughter, Kylie; brothers: Danny (Norma), Jerry (Barb), Robert (Jane), Jim (Loretta), David (Rose), Rick (Kathy), Johnny (Colleen), and Doug; his sister, Jackie (Ed) Blankenship; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Russell Jr., and Roger; and sisters: Barbara, Phyllis Buell, and Ruth Money. Please visit Kenny’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo of Kenny and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations may be made to Kenny’s family in care of the funeral home.