Kendall came into this world in a big hurry — 9 weeks early and way too little — like he couldn’t wait to be here. He took that same rush, that same enthusiasm, through his whole life. It was much, much too short.
Kendall was in a hurry, and he fought to be here. He was born on September 28, 2000. It wasn’t easy to survive as a 31-weeker then, but Kendall fought and he won. He stopped breathing when he was a few months old, but he fought and he won. He was hospitalized with severe seizures when he was six. He fought and he won.
He packed so much into 18 years. Throw a pin at a map of Europe or a map of the United States, and he’s probably been there. Tear a page out of Sports Illustrated and he’s probably played it. Kendall was born in El Paso, Texas, but he lived in Hanau, Germany; Fort Bliss, Texas; Queidersbach, Germany; Columbia, South Carolina; then Colorado Springs; then Fort Knox, Kentucky; then back to Colorado Springs — a home he really, really loved. In between, he managed to hit at least 40 states, as well as France, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Mexico, and Luxembourg. Kendall kicked off his busy sports career at five years old: soccer at Fort Bliss. He played basketball, soccer and baseball in Germany. Kendall even played three years for FC Queidersbach — and you know how hard it is to get on a German team. The Germans don’t just let you win, especially when it’s soccer. Kendall was a hardcore cyclist. He rode for the German cycling team, RV Queidersbach, for two years. He rode SIS at 10. For a bit of perspective, most sane adults won’t ride SIS. It’s a German mountain bike race: it’s in the dark, overnight, it’s long, it’s technical and it’s terrifying. Kendall did it without blinking. But of course his most impressive scar came from crashing his bike into a perfectly avoidable, perfectly stationary car in our perfectly flat street.
Kendall played football in South Carolina, he played basketball in Kentucky, and he was quarterback in junior high for the Fort Carson Eagles. He played soccer and basketball for Cheyenne Mountain. He loved his team mates. He loved his coaches. And making the varsity basketball team was a dream come true.
He had a lot of other loves. He loved Mario Kart, cookies, cake, cake, also cake, Clash of Clans, pizza, everything fried, Wii Sports, anime — One Punch Man — more anime, board games and animals, especially cats. He loved Command and Conquer, Dunkin’ Donuts, ATVs, dirt bikes, home cooking, comic books, Marvel movies, Monopoly, every kind of puzzle and — whenever he could swing it — being where he shouldn’t be. Kendall’s surprising enthusiasm for going to English tutoring actually turned out to be a completely unsurprising enthusiasm for sneaking off to the ice cream parlor. In true Kendall style, his scheme was busted when he ran into his own tutor … at the ice cream parlor.
Kendall was wonderful with kids, and so kind. He wasn’t the one who rolled his eyes and sighed when he had to play that 9th game of Go Fish or that 50th game of Yu-Gi-Oh! He’d jump on the trampoline with an overexcited five-year-old. He’d play driveway basketball with siblings half his size. He was never afraid to have fun. He was a great big brother. He had such a good heart.
A memorial service celebrating Kendall’s life will be held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 9 El Pomar Road, Colorado Springs, on Friday, January 18 at 4 p.m. (casual attire or spirit wear — come as you are).
Visitation will be held at Pikes Peak Christian Church, 4955 Bradley Road, Colorado Springs, on Saturday, January 19 at 11 a.m., followed by the funeral service at noon. Arrangements are by Evergreen Funeral Home.
Kendall is survived by his brothers Kevin Robinson, Emmett Robinson, Michael Penney, Samuel Penney and Reed Evans; his sister Adelaide Evans; and four dazzling cats. He is also survived by his mother and stepfather, Joy and Mike Penney; his father and stepmother, Kendall and Helen Robinson; and his grandparents Deborah and Wilson Goodwin, Sharon Robinson, Jane and Arthur Lewis, and Paul Penney.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado at biglittlecolorado.org, so other kids can know a kind heart and a good, good life.