Family and friends say goodbye to Vernon native

VERNON,TX(RNN Texoma) - Those in Vernon remembered a man who touched a lot of people's lives on Saturday. Dozens of family members, friends and those who worked with Kenneth Kieschnick showed up to St. Paul Lutheran to say their final goodbyes.

Kenneth Kieschnick was born February 20, 1956. He grew up working on his family's farm in Vernon before suiting up with UPS for more than 37 years.

He raised a family of three. Two boys, Layne and Brad Kieschnick, and one girl, Beth Ann Miller.

"That's the kind of person my dad was, he just showed up when it was unexpected," Miller said. "It doesn't surprise me that people are constantly showing up."

He became a local legend when he brought out the game ball at a Dallas Cowboys versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers game.

"He said 'I don't want to go out and trip in front of those people,'" Layne said. "He was a little nervous about that. We had to kind of calm him down and he went out there and did a fantastic job."

His children said Kieschnick loved everyone and was always there like a knight in shining armor.

"When everyone else gave up on me, my dad came out," Miller said. "He rescued my like a prince, you know, so I guess in some ways I was a princess. It was just like the Bible. I was the prodigal daughter coming home and he just opened his arms. That was Kenneth Kieschnick. He loved everyone and he opened up with no judgment."

The man his children describe as a larger than life character lost his battle with cancer on May 23.

"He was a true example how a man should live his life, unselfishly, without taking life too seriously, laughing, loving everyone, and putting others before himself," Layne said.

"I know when I looked into his eyes, in his last moments, that he was with the Lord," Bard said.

His coworkers, friends and loved ones rode with him, one last time from Saint Paul Lutheran Church to Eastview Cemetery. His bike led the convoy as Kieschnick let go of the handlebars.

"I love my daddy," Brad said. "I'll miss him but he's with his heavenly family in his heavenly home."

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