As I go through life I'll often find reoccurring themes in people I meet. Someone I meet today in San Antonio might possess a similar collection of characteristics to someone I met decades ago when I was in college in Austin. I know it's problematic to categorize people into "types" but it's something we all do.
Still, every once in a while you meet a person who doesn't really fit any existing definition. There is no category that adequately describes the unprecedented mixture of qualities they embody. They are an outlier.
Kenny Brown was one such person.
I first met Kenny when I started working at Lake|Flato back in 2002. "Buff" and "tattooed" and "physically intimidating" are not descriptions usually given to members of the architecture profession. And yet Kenny was all those things. He also incredibly focused and really good at his job. When I would arrive at the office early he would often already be there.
He also happened to be an incredibly sweet human being.
Kenny and I were never close friends but we we ran in the same professional and social circles. Years after both he and I left Lake|Flato we shared office space together. He was always helpful to me and incredibly kind to my daughters. He would let them play with his dog and Sammy in particular was taken by Kenny (see above: no girl can resist a bad boy on a bike).
Kenny was involved in a horrific motorcycle accident back in September and although we all hoped and prayed he would eventually recover, we learned this past Saturday that was to be.
I'm not smart enough to divine the meaning of a tragedy such as this. I know Kenny touched the lives of many and that he will be dearly missed. We will miss him all the more because we know we'll never meet another quite like him.