James D. Kenney

James D. Kenney, Sr, 78, of Topeka, Kansas passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family on Monday March 1, 2021.

            Jim was born in Eskridge, Kanas on July 27, 1942 to Gladys and Raymond Kenney. He graduated from Eskridge High School. He worked construction until he joined the Army in 1964; after which he belonged to the Rossville American Legion Post #31. He was also active in the Army reserve for 6 years after his discharge from the service. Jim then started a construction business called Ken-Barr Construction. He was the undersheriff of Wabaunsee County before being promoted to Sheriff. He then went to work for the State of Kansas Public Defenders Office as Chief Investigator. Later he worked for the Federal Public Defenders Office also as Chief Investigator. He was well respected by his peers all over the country.

            Jim was active in sports in high school and played ball with men from Eskridge in later years. He was actively involved in getting Eskridge a ball diamond for kids to play baseball. He loved watching the Kansas City Royals, the Kansas City Chiefs, as well as, KU sports. He also loved watching his grandchildren in their sports activities. He loved his westerns and old moves. He had many hobbies and was willing to help any one who needed it.

            He was an avid and competitive fisherman all of his life. He fished in many area clubs and several in the Midwest.  Table Rock was his favorite competitive spot. He loved to teach kids to fish and a couple of grandkids are still fishing today. He was a marketing representative for Tightline Lures, a job he truly loved.

            Jim was loved and admired by his family, friends, and all who knew him.  He was generous, funny, loving and always had a good story or joke to tell. All of his grandkids adored him as did his wife and children.

            His parents and a special aunt preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Sharon (Hundley), son JD Kenney (Kelli) grandkids Jimmy, Parker and Madelyn of Rossville, KS. Stepson Shawn Lucas (Amy) grandkids Cole and Josie of Topeka. Two sisters RaeJean Dancy of Cincinnati, Ohio and Janet Barnett (his twin) of Topeka, KS., as well as, many nieces and nephews.

            Jim wished to be cremated and have his beloved fur babies (Sadie and Doodle) buried with him. There will be a graveside service at the Eskridge Cemetery on March 18, 2021 at 2:00 PM. A celebration of life will be on May 22, 2021 at Lake Shawnee, shelter house #3 from 10:30-2:30. Lunch will be provided.

            In memory of Jim the family suggests donations be sent to Helping Hands Humane Society or a charity of their choice. Finally, the family wishes to thank the staff of Midland Hospice for their care and compassion.

7 “James D. Kenney

  1. We honor our friendship with Jim as a true blessing! He was a super nice and pleasant person. We will miss his smiling face and my husband said Jim’s knowledge of fishing was amazing! We are truly sorry for your loss Sharon. Love you!

  2. This is so wonderful to know. There r a lot of things he did that showed what a wonderful person he was. My twin brother

  3. JD, Kelli & Family: I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. May your fond memories of your dad bring you joy and strength. With Deepest Sympathy.

  4. Sharon we are sorry for your loss and share this with you and your family. Jim was a wonderful friend and always had hugs to greet us! My husband was lucky to have fished with Jim and was amazed at his lure collection and great compassion for life. We will both miss his friendship always! Sincerely Roger and Marilyn Vickery

  5. As an Assistant District Attorney I watched Jim, who was then the Wabaunsee County Sheriff, talk a mentally disturbed young man out of a false confession the young man had made to a very high-profile kidnapping/murder case. It was important to all of us that this confession was thoroughly debunked so that we could move forward with the investigation. I watched Jim compassionately examine all of the facts that we knew with the young man, who finally admitted that he had confessed in order to cause pain to his father, whom he bitterly hated. This was one of the finest examples of law-enforcement professionalism that I ever witnessed. Jim was a master of his craft, and a wonderful friend.

    • I had the privilege of knowing Jim for many years, and working with him at the Federal Public Defender office. He was a wonderful, compassionate person, and will be missed greatly. Shari, my thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family.

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