The community college where I work lost an employee last week that left the whole campus reeling. Lamont Kinney didn't have a high-powered job that grossed him a large salary. He didn't have a lot of degrees attached to his name. What he did have was a huge heart, one that made him the most loved person on campus. Students, staff and faculty alike turned to Lamont for security, help and friendship. It was as if he derived his energy from taking care of others.
His passing made the front page of the local newspaper. The reporter, Amy Fuhrman, summed it up with her opening: 'The gates of Heaven are surely shining a little brighter, the angels’ welcome must be a little warmer and there are certainly no lost souls left to wander.' If there were, Lamont would find them and guide them home.
At least, one student credits his education to this dear man. When he came on campus for the first time, alone and unsure, with no one to help him, Lamont took him under his wing. The student said later, he would never have gotten his education if it weren't for Lamont. Another student said his dad passed when he was fifteen and Lamont became his father figure. And so it went.
The school president not only attended his funeral but spoke at it.
It both humbles and awes me that this man was capable of sharing himself with so many and doing it with a 'glad heart.' He gave a piece of himself to everyone he came in contact with. And he came in contact with many. Knowing Lamont was both a gift and a responsibility. A gift of friendship. A responsibility to pay it forward. His mantra: 'I'm here to make a difference.'
"Lamont, you succeeded beyond your wildest expectations. Till we meet again."
|Campus Memorial Monday, Oct 6, 2014|
May God bless and bring peace to everyone who loved this man.
Touched so many and that will sure live on
This was such a lovely tribute -- and such a reminder of what counts most in life: caring about and helping others.
This shows how one person can make a difference in people's lives. Thanks for letting us know about this man
Sorry for the loss.
Thanks for sharing about him. Sounds like a great person.
He must of been a wonderful person
That's so sad! I remember when I worked in state government, there was a young security guard who was the nicest person ever. He lit up as you walked by and made a point to personalize every greeting. He even got to know people's names...and there were thousands of people in that building. One weekend he died in a car accident. I didn't even work in that particular building and had only seen him when I was passing through once a week and it hit me hard. Seems like the angels on Earth are the ones who go first. Has anyone else noticed that? Some of the nicest people die relatively young...
Thank you, Janie. Your words are much appreciated.
He sure did, Pat. Thank you.
Hi Elizabeth, thank you. And its one that sometimes easy to forget.
Hi Birgit, isn't that the truth? It still amazes me how he found time for everyone and managed his job at the same time.
Thanks, Spooky. Hope all is well in your corner of the world.
He was, Nas. Thank you.
He was amazing, Adam.
I agree, Steph, they do seem to certainly go earlier than we're ready for them too.
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