Kenneth (Kenny) Decatur Heath passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loved ones on February 9, at the age of 39. Dearly beloved husband to Jennifer for 13 years, loving father to Evan, adored son of Ray and Suzanne Heath of Chocowinity, NC and brother of Kelly Heath McCook of Columbia, SC, and wonderful son-in-law of John and Sue McGrady of Raleigh, NC. Kenny excelled in his academic pursuits at University of Virginia, Princeton University, and Yale Law School; he mastered every subject matter he tackled and was a gifted teacher who enjoyed helping others learn. A partner at Wiggin and Dana, Kenny practiced law for almost 10 years and was a talented attorney with a strong commitment to pro bono work. Prior to law school, Kenny worked at the Department of Defense, and had a strong interest in national security policy issues. His talents were not limited to intellectual pursuits; Kenny loved hiking in the national parks of Southern Utah, tackling home improvement projects, and working out at the gym. He was a man of integrity, determination, and wisdom, and he was most proud of being a father. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, CT, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: CT Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT 06405 or Yale Cancer Center, 157 Church Street New Haven, CT 06510. He will be forever loved and missed by all his family and countless friends. Services under the direction of BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 WHITNEY AVE., HAMDEN.

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  1. .ODE TO KENNY. Did I ever meet you? No. Did I ever know you? Yes. Not personally. I never saw you nor did I shake your hand.I never even met your family or friends. But, I do know you on a deeper level. I recognize you, somehow, through my own personal loss of a mother, a father, a ten year old niece, good friends. I recognize you somehow through your associations during your short time on this earth. You are a beloved husband, a loving father, an adored son, a brother and son in law, admired and treasured.You excelled in all academic pursuits, you mastured and tackled opportunities and always managed to demonstrate a commitment to others, pro bono, which to me says unconditional in your relationships, whether personal, professional or to country.What better legacy could there be in anyone’s life than a strong integrity, determination and wisdom and most of all a proud father? What better life, no matter the length? Short in duration, but long in quality and in eternity. Kenneth D. Heath from Hamden, Connecticut has somehow touched my life and enriched it … His journey continues through his memories passed on from his family in this small town paper. His spirit has touched mine and his passion and love has transcended time and space. His loving kindness is engraved forever upon all whose life he touched and continues to touch through the ripple effect.Much love and thoughtful prayers to you and your family. Time will soften the edges of the pain and Faith will provide the comfort of the wisdom that Kenny demonstrated each day.

  2. Dear all: I was saddened to hear that Kenny passed away…our Sunday School class at Porterfield has been praying for him and the family since his illness was brought to our attention by his classmates from Deerfield. We will continue to pray for the family as they grieve. I remember first meeting Kenny when I was in first grade playing YMCA soccer…he had a cast on his arm and yet he was still out there chasing it down with the rest of us. His mom was really good about cheering us on! Later, I looked up to him and the other guys he earned Eagle Scout with in Troop 111, and I admired him for his great spelling ability, too! Our sincere condolences for the entire family.

  3. Dear Heath Family, I have thinking of Kenny and your family the last several weeks. Please know that you all and Kenny have been in my prayers. In the past, when I would brag about growing up in Albany and going to Deerfield, it never failed that I would bring Kenny’s name up as scoring perfect on the SAT. We shared the same .senior free period. in high school and had alot of laughs. Kenny mostly laughing at my inability for Math or some funny political discussion with Heath, Glenn, Ben and Chris. He was a great friend to everyone. I am so sorry he went through so much. He will be missed.

  4. Dear Heath Family: I am another one of Kenny’s high school classmates. I would not have made it through Latin without Kenny’s help. He was a close friend and one that I will truly miss. I have had you and your families in my thoughts and prayers over the last few months and hope that you will not hesitate to call if I can be of any help. Again, you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Please know that Kenny was a truly special and gifted friend and will be missed. Sincerely, Ray

  5. Dear Jennifer and Family, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We haven’t been in touch in ages, but I’ve followed your journey from afar through friends such as Sarah Abernathy, Rob Schein, and Steve Vavrik. I was so sorry to learn of Kenny’s illness. I’ve marveled at your strength and wish I could be there to offer my condolences in person. Kenny was a remarkable person and in his very short life he accomplished much and had the pleasure to know he had chosen a wonderful life partner, to relish the blessings of fatherhood, and to be able to enjoy his success and abilities and all that they and his hard work and dedication brought him. He was, despite the shortness of his life, truly blessed — to have such a loving family and to have the chance to drink so deeply of life. My love and sympathies go out to you from Denver. Kenny’s passing has brought together the network of friends from Woody Woo and we have all shared the sad news and grieved together. I have such fond memories of our times together, particularly those from the end of our years at Princeton and that last long weekend in Cape May. I am glad we were able to share such joy. Best wishes. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Gabriel

  6. Dear Jennifer and Family, We wanted to let you know that you have our greatest sympathy. Our hearts go out to you and your family. We know what a wonderful person Kenny was and how much he will be missed. He is at peace now. Jennifer, if there is anything we can do to help; please call on us. With our deepest sympathy, Valerie and Gary Zielinski

  7. Dear Jennifer, While I haven’t seen you in many years, and didn’t know your husband, I nonetheless wanted to tell you how very, very sorry I am for your loss. It sounds as if Heath was a wonderful person, both professionally and personally. May God lift you up and carry you during this difficult time. I’m praying for you and your family. Love, Jennifer

  8. Dear Jennifer, You have been in our thoughts and prayers for a long time and you will remain there as you begin the journey of recovery. We can testify to God’s continual faithfulness as we face life’s toughest hardships. I am sure you have already experienced that in these last few years. Not so long ago you, Amanda and our boys were growing up at Forest Hills. Take heart that many of those same people are remembering you today. Much love.

  9. Dear Jennifer: We send our love and deepest sympathy to you and your family. It seems only yesterday when you and your sister were dressed in your best finery as children. You were two beautiful young ladies and we always enjoyed your greetings at church. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time in your life.

  10. Dear Kelly, Suzanne, Ray and family, I am truly sorry to hear of your loss. Kenny accomplished more in his life than most of us can hope for and I was always amazed to hear of his successes from my family. I hope that you all can find comfort in this difficult time. I am thinking of you and wish you some peace of heart and mind. My sincere condolences.

  11. Dear Ray & Suzanne, Please know that you and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers as you mourn the loss of and celebrate the life of Kenny. May you find solace in your many fond memories of the time shared with your very special son. Sincerely, Karen & Gil

  12. Dear Ray and Suzanne, As members of your neighborhood and church families, please know that we are grieving with you as well as with Jennifer, Evan, Kelly and with the rest of your family and friends.

  13. Dear Ray and Suzanne, Our deepest sympathy to your family for your loss. We have such fond memories of soccer,St.Teresa`s and Deerfield. Kenny was truely a special person. Sincerely, Margaret and Woody Sanders

  14. Dear Ray and Suzanne: We want you to know you are in our prayers and in our hearts. Love, Dave and Margaret Trott

  15. Dear Suzanne and Ray…..Melissa had shared with me the struggle that Kenny had been going through….my heart is very sad for you as his parents. Lots of people here are praying for God’s peace to be with you. What a bright sensitive boy Kenny was….I know you were so proud of him. Fondly, Dorothy

  16. Hi Ray, Suzanne, Kelly, and Kenny’s other family members… Mom told me the terrible news she read in the paper today. I send my condolences to all of you. We Martins have kept up with all of your adventures through your annual holiday letters. I will always remember Kenny as one of my first .buddies. on Ivy Lane. Again, my best to you during this tough time.

  17. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Christie Athens HS Class of 88

  18. I am so sorry to hear about Kenny. He was a remarkable person and will be missed by all. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. I am so sorry to learn of your loss. The road ahead will be hard especially at first. Take strength from your family and friends around you. My heart and prayers are with your family. Stacy Gault Saenz Athens 1988

  20. I AM SORRY ABOUT THE LOSS OF KENNY. HE FOUGHT SO HARD. READING THE OBIT, I REALIZED WHAT A VERY SPECIAL MAN HE WAS AND WILL ALWAYS BE TO YOU ALL. BILL JOINS ME IN SENDING LOVE AND PRAYERS. THE FOND MEMORIES YOU HAVE WILL GIVE YOU COURAGE AND STRENGTH DURING THE DIFFICULT DAYS AHEAD. LOVE, TRISH AND BILL LITCHFIELD

  21. I am sorry about the loss of your loved one. Words cannot describe feelings in a time like this. Many have found comfort in the Bible’s promises of seeing our past loved ones again such as at John 5 verses 28 and 29. Take care of yourselves and keep memories of your past loved one close.

  22. i am truly sorry to hear about kenny’s death. i knew kenny from lake park elementary in albany, ga. i was one of his classmates and we were in webelos together also. along with being one of the best students in the class he was one of the nicest also. he was a good friend and he will be missed. i will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  23. I think that it was in fifth grade when Kenny and I dressed up as Truman and Roosevelt for school project. As I remember it, there was some kind of parade involved, and Kenny had to push me in a chair with wheels (not a true wheelchair) over uneven pavement in the Georgia heat. Of course, Kenny took any difficult task as a challenge, and he wrestled that chair through the heat and strain with his typical good-natured determination. I am sure it was a sight to see. He couldn’t have been much taller than that chair. I have a lot of great memories of Kenny through school, soccer, boy scouts, Governor’s Honors, or just playing at one of our homes. There is no denying his incredible intellect. However, for me, what stands out the most is the incredible kindness and openness of his spirit. He was a good and caring friend. I am truly sorry for your loss. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  24. I was so sorry to hear about Kenny. Everyone here has been praying for him. I have nothing but wonderful memories of him – he is the one person I will remember made a perfect score on the SAT. He was a leader at Deerfield, and I know he will be missed by all. He made an impact on a lot of people here- I hope he knew that. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. (Leigh Ann Margeson Flynn – I was the class behind Kenny.)

  25. I went to Deerfield with Kenny and just wanted to pass along my condolences and prayers for your family. We had not spoken in many years but I was not surprised to hear of all the wonderful things he had been doing in his life. He was not only one of the smartest people I knew but he was also a very kind person. He will be missed dearly I know. Sincerely, Amy Grant Baer

  26. Jennifer and Evan, words cannot describe the sadness that came over me this morning as I read of Kenny’s passing. I didn’t know Kenny personally, but knowing you and all I have heard about him, he was extraordinary. He met this difficult illness with determination, spirituality and humor. I know that you and Evan filled his life with love and hope. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Please don’t hesitate to call on me if I can provide assistance to you in any way. Sincerely, Carol

  27. Jennifer and Evan: my sincere sympathies on your loss. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  28. Jennifer and Evan: You are both in my prayers during this difficult time. Ken will forever live in my heart and I will miss him everyday. I feel blessed to have had him in my life.

  29. Jennifer and Family, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May God Bless, keep and comfort you during your time of sorrow.

  30. Jennifer I was so sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers !! God Bless Athens Drive HS Class 88

  31. Jennifer, Evan, Ray, Suzanne, Kelly & family members my condolence goes to all of you. I have watched as Kenny accomplished all the goals he set for himself and with such humility. He touched so many lives is such a special way. Even though his life has been cut short on earth, God has great plans for him in heaven. My love, prayers and thoughts are with all of you at this time. Dianne Carr – Albany,GA

  32. Jennifer, I am so sorry about Kenny. He was a really wonderful person. I hope that you and Evan have the love and support to help ease your sorrow, if only a little bit. All my sympathies, Jennifer

  33. Jennifer, I am so sorry to hear about the tremendous loss that you, your son and your extended family have suffered. I was never fortunate enough to meet Kenny, but he sounds like he was a wonderful man who was lost far too soon. Please know that you have people around the country who haven’t seen you in years but who know you, care about you and are feeling for you during this time. May happy memories of Kenny and the love of Evan, your family and friends help to carry you through. If there is anything I can do from Raleigh for you or your family, please don’t hesitate to ask. I would be honored to assist in any way I can. God bless you and your family.

  34. Jennifer, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am without words as I cannot imagine the heartache that you feel. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  35. Jennifer, I am truly sorry for your loss. There are no words that I can say to comfort you during this tough time. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I extend my deepest condolences to you and your family. Sincerely, Lisa Davis James Athens Drive High School

  36. Jennifer, I am very sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. My parents kept me informed of his progress over the past couple of years. Please know that you, your son, and Kenny’s family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Hollis Singleton Marek

  37. Jennifer, Words are inadequate to describe my sadness to hear about Kenny’s passing. Your amazing grace in the note sharing the news with friends told me that you had recognized and experienced the blessings (of Evan’s sunny disposition and hospice) even during toughest of your times in life. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Evan and all grieving Kenny’s departure from this world. I trust and believe that Kenny is with the Divine, free of pains and fully restored and watching over you and Evan. Sincerely, Wen-Ling Lai Athens Drive High School, Class of 1988

  38. Kelly and family, My heart is heavy for you as you walk through these sad days. I am thinking of you and holding you close in prayer. Fondly, Heather Lanier Yeiser

  39. Kenny may no longer be with us physically, but I hope his family takes some solace in the fact that he enriched so many others’ lives while he was here. Kenny and I spent a lot of time together in Scouts, school and just playing together. Even at a young age, his drive, intelligence and willingness to help others was undeniable. I’ll always remember Kenny as someone that pushed me to do my best because that’s the standard he set for himself. My childhood memories of him and the fact that he continued to live his life in a way that enriched his family and loved ones will continue to push me to make this world a better one by being the best man I can be.

  40. May God be with you (Ray & Suzanne) and all of Kenny’s Family. Susan and I will be praying for you all; especially Jennifer and Evan.

  41. Mr. & Mrs. Heath and Kelly, I am so sorry to hear about Kenny. I know he was loved and will be missed. My heart goes out to you all.

  42. Mr. Heath and Family I just wanted to send my most sincere and deepest condolences to your family. May God rest upon you all so that a spirit of peace falls upon your hearts. God loves you and is with you every step of the way. My family will be praying for your family. Be blessed.

  43. My son Christopher has spoken highly of Kenny over the years. (Kenny was born 2 days after Chris.) My condolences to all of the family and friends, and to all whose lives were touched by knowing him. God bless.

  44. Our prayers are with you and all of your family. God’s Peace, Cathy & Durward Grady (friends of Dot & Earl Seay; met you in Greenville once & @ our mountain home in Todd, NC)We are so sorry for the loss of your beloved son.

  45. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We will always remember Kenny as a gifted child with wonderful parents. He lived to his potential in his short life and he will be greatly missed.

  46. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. Kenny will live on in the hearts of everyone that knew him.

  47. Ray & Family, I was saddened to learn of your loss. I will be thinking about you in the days ahead. Take care.

  48. Ray & Family, May God be with you in your time of need. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Here is a poem sent to my family recently in our time of despair and it made us feel better, Hopefully it will do the same for you. It’s called Release Me: to those I love and those who love me… when I am gone.release me.let me go… i have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears. be thankful for our many beautiful years. I gave to you my love.you can only guess how much you gave to me in hapiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown. But now it’s time I traveled alone… So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must. Then let your grief go be comforted by trust. It’s only for a time that we must be part. So bless the memories within your heart… I won’t be far away. for life goes on. So if you need me.call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me. I’ll be near. and if you listen with your heart you’ll hear all my love around you soft and clear. and then when you must come this way alone.I’ll greet you wth a smile and say… .Welcome Home!’

  49. Ray & Suzanne, We love you both and wish we could have known Kenny and his family. All of you are in our prayers. May you will feel God’s presence and comfort during this time of grief.

  50. Ray and Suzanne: Please accept of utmost sympathy in this very trying hour of need. Our thoughts and prayer will be with you.

  51. Ray, I will always remember Kenny as being the .light of your life.. Your family was always your favorite subject. I am so very saddened by your loss of a wonderful son. I pray that God will give you peace and the great hope that you will surely meet again and be together for all eternity with all your loved ones. Danny Jones Albany, GA

  52. Ray, Suzanne, Kelly and other family, we were so sorry to read of Kenny’s death. we have many fond memories of St. Teresa, Dws football, softball, and basketball games that we are attended together. Out thoughts and prayers are with all of you

  53. SO SORRY TO HEAR OF THE LOSS OF A GENTLE SOUL. I ONLY MET KENNY A COUPLE OF TIMES, BUT HE MADE A LASTING IMPRESSION. WITH DEEPEST SYMPATHY

  54. Suzanne, Ray and Kelly — Even though we lost touch with each other over the years, you have remained in our hearts as friends. We are sorry to hear about Kenny’s death. You were always a close family and I know he knew just how much you loved him. You and all of the rest of Kenny’s family will be in our hearts and prayers. Sincerely, Charlotte and Tommy

  55. Suzanne, Ray and Kelly, I was so sorry to hear about Kenny. My heart goes out to you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  56. To Ray, Suzanne, Kelly & family ~ Our sympathy and prayers to you on the death of Kenny. May he be at rest in God’s peace. From Mona, Phil, Kerry & family

  57. To the Heath Family: It is with great sadness that my family and I learned today of Kenny’s passing. He was an extraordinary individual and in recounting stories about Kenny I always acknowledge him as being absolutely the smartest person I’ve met. More so, he was a great man and a dear friend. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers Stan Whatley

  58. We are so sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Kay Eckhardt Brantley

  59. While I did not have the pleasure of knowing Kenny well, I know from his sister and parents what a wonderful man, father, brother, and son he was. Take the time now to remember and honor him, for the life he led and the wonderful example he has left as his legacy. Thinking of all of you during this hard time.

  60. .ODE TO KENNY. Did I ever meet you? No. Did I ever know you? Yes. Not personally. I never saw you nor did I shake your hand.I never even met your family or friends. But, I do know you on a deeper level. I recognize you, somehow, through my own personal loss of a mother, a father, a ten year old niece, good friends. I recognize you somehow through your associations during your short time on this earth. You are a beloved husband, a loving father, an adored son, a brother and son in law, admired and treasured.You excelled in all academic pursuits, you mastured and tackled opportunities and always managed to demonstrate a commitment to others, pro bono, which to me says unconditional in your relationships, whether personal, professional or to country.What better legacy could there be in anyone’s life than a strong integrity, determination and wisdom and most of all a proud father? What better life, no matter the length? Short in duration, but long in quality and in eternity. Kenneth D. Heath from Hamden, Connecticut has somehow touched my life and enriched it … His journey continues through his memories passed on from his family in this small town paper. His spirit has touched mine and his passion and love has transcended time and space. His loving kindness is engraved forever upon all whose life he touched and continues to touch through the ripple effect.Much love and thoughtful prayers to you and your family. Time will soften the edges of the pain and Faith will provide the comfort of the wisdom that Kenny demonstrated each day.

  61. Dear all: I was saddened to hear that Kenny passed away…our Sunday School class at Porterfield has been praying for him and the family since his illness was brought to our attention by his classmates from Deerfield. We will continue to pray for the family as they grieve. I remember first meeting Kenny when I was in first grade playing YMCA soccer…he had a cast on his arm and yet he was still out there chasing it down with the rest of us. His mom was really good about cheering us on! Later, I looked up to him and the other guys he earned Eagle Scout with in Troop 111, and I admired him for his great spelling ability, too! Our sincere condolences for the entire family.

  62. Dear Jennifer, While I haven’t seen you in many years, and didn’t know your husband, I nonetheless wanted to tell you how very, very sorry I am for your loss. It sounds as if Heath was a wonderful person, both professionally and personally. May God lift you up and carry you during this difficult time. I’m praying for you and your family. Love, Jennifer

  63. Dear Jennifer, You have been in our thoughts and prayers for a long time and you will remain there as you begin the journey of recovery. We can testify to God’s continual faithfulness as we face life’s toughest hardships. I am sure you have already experienced that in these last few years. Not so long ago you, Amanda and our boys were growing up at Forest Hills. Take heart that many of those same people are remembering you today. Much love.

  64. Jennifer, I am so sorry about Kenny. He was a really wonderful person. I hope that you and Evan have the love and support to help ease your sorrow, if only a little bit. All my sympathies, Jennifer

  65. Jennifer, I am so sorry to hear about the tremendous loss that you, your son and your extended family have suffered. I was never fortunate enough to meet Kenny, but he sounds like he was a wonderful man who was lost far too soon. Please know that you have people around the country who haven’t seen you in years but who know you, care about you and are feeling for you during this time. May happy memories of Kenny and the love of Evan, your family and friends help to carry you through. If there is anything I can do from Raleigh for you or your family, please don’t hesitate to ask. I would be honored to assist in any way I can. God bless you and your family.

  66. Jennifer, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I am without words as I cannot imagine the heartache that you feel. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  67. Jennifer, I am truly sorry for your loss. There are no words that I can say to comfort you during this tough time. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers and I extend my deepest condolences to you and your family. Sincerely, Lisa Davis James Athens Drive High School

  68. Jennifer, I am very sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. My parents kept me informed of his progress over the past couple of years. Please know that you, your son, and Kenny’s family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Hollis Singleton Marek

  69. Jennifer, Words are inadequate to describe my sadness to hear about Kenny’s passing. Your amazing grace in the note sharing the news with friends told me that you had recognized and experienced the blessings (of Evan’s sunny disposition and hospice) even during toughest of your times in life. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Evan and all grieving Kenny’s departure from this world. I trust and believe that Kenny is with the Divine, free of pains and fully restored and watching over you and Evan. Sincerely, Wen-Ling Lai Athens Drive High School, Class of 1988

  70. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time. Kenny will live on in the hearts of everyone that knew him.

  71. Ray & Family, May God be with you in your time of need. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Here is a poem sent to my family recently in our time of despair and it made us feel better, Hopefully it will do the same for you. It’s called Release Me: to those I love and those who love me… when I am gone.release me.let me go… i have so many things to see and do. You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears. be thankful for our many beautiful years. I gave to you my love.you can only guess how much you gave to me in hapiness. I thank you for the love you each have shown. But now it’s time I traveled alone… So grieve a while for me, if grieve you must. Then let your grief go be comforted by trust. It’s only for a time that we must be part. So bless the memories within your heart… I won’t be far away. for life goes on. So if you need me.call and I will come. Though you can’t see or touch me. I’ll be near. and if you listen with your heart you’ll hear all my love around you soft and clear. and then when you must come this way alone.I’ll greet you wth a smile and say… .Welcome Home!’

  72. Ray & Suzanne, We love you both and wish we could have known Kenny and his family. All of you are in our prayers. May you will feel God’s presence and comfort during this time of grief.

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