A Cunningham family cousin, Kenny Kritenbrink, of Chadron, Nebraska, was laid to rest today (Monday, October 31, 2016) at the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, South Dakota.
Kenny passed away at the Veteran's Center at Fort Meade, South Dakota on October 16 at the age of 82. Although he had been in failing health for some time, it was only in the last few weeks that his mobility was impaired to the point that he was unable to get out and have coffee with friends and family. He had joined many Cunningham and Galey family relatives just last summer at Wilson Park in Chadron for a Galey family reunion.
There was a huge turnout for Kenny's service at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron on Saturday, October 29 -- with standing room only.
Kenneth Kepple Kritenbrink was born August 4, 1934 at Whitney, Nebraska to Abram (Abe) and Geraldine (Cunningham) Kritenbrink. His maternal grandparents were Rayburn and Margaret Cunningham. Railroading was in Kenny's blood. His father was a railroader. His grandfather was a railroader. And his leaf didn't fall far from their tracks. He was a railroader with the Chicago and North Western Railway System for some 42 years.
During the inurnment ceremony at the Fort Meade National Cemetery this morning, it seemed almost a bit of divine intervention that the haunted strains of a train whistle could be heard from the railroad tracks behind the cemetery.
All Aboard for Kenny's final destination: The Pearly Gates.