Kenneth Reynold Beckett was born on November 27, 1960 in Cape Charles, VA to the late Henry A. Beckett, Sr. And Julia Cropper Beckett. He departed this life on August 3, 2022. He was preceded in death be his parents, and his brothers Kevin and Ronald. Kenny grew up in Trenton, New Jersey, and attended Trenton public schools until 8th grade. In 1974, the family moved to Eggert’s Crossing Village (ECV), where Kenny attended Lawrence High School. It was during this period that he met many of his lifelong friends.
Kenny was an all-around athlete throughout his school years, and won many trophies for baseball, football, basketball, and track. He remained an avid sports fan and especially loved track and field events and his favorite football team - the New York Giants. As a teenager, a trip to Colorado with the Outward Bound program changed Kenny’s life. It was through this program and many other childhood experiences that Kenny learned the importance of organized activities in the lives of young people. As a result, he spent time during his youth organizing community activities for local kids. He was very proud of the work he did in ECV as a teen organizer, and often encouraged other young people to become involved in their communities. This love of community later influenced Kenny to be very active with the Afrikan People’s Action School during the time that his daughters were students.
Kenny attended Mercer County Community College, followed by a tour in the U.S. Air Force. His fondest Air Force memories were of the relationships he formed in basic training, and of the time he spent while stationed in Spain. He would often tell great stories about hanging out, eating, and drinking with the locals. After the Air Force, Kenny returned to New Jersey, and began his career in social services. In 1991, Kenny proudly received his Master’s degree in Human Services from Lincoln University (PA). Over the course of his career, Kenny worked for various organization in and around Mercer County, including Greater Trenton Community Mental Health Service, thr Crisis Center at Helene Fuld Hospital, Mercer Council on Alcoholisim and Drug Addiction, Volunteers of America, and the Crisis Center at Hunterdon Medical Center. He was great at helping people in distress find the resources needed to improve their lives. He retired from active employment in 2014.
Kenny married the love of his life, Edith Kearse in 1983 and to this union, two daughters were born, Kearsa Rennay and Kalyse Regina. His family was the heart of his life, and Kenny spent many wonderful years as a loving and supportive husband, father, and grandfather. He also deeply loved the many members of his extended family.
Kenny was a great friend, and a great person to know. He was the type of person to not only become friends with an individual, but also with their families. As a result, his extensive network of friends included several 50+ year relationships. Kenny shared many stories of hanging out and having meals with his friends and their families. Kenny was also a foodie! He enjoyed good food and was not shy about asking people whose cooking he enjoyed to make dishes for him. He also loved to cook, especially if seafood was involved -- his seafood stew was excellent! In addition to his love of good food, Kenny enjoyed a good cigar. He could tell you all about the various flavor notes of the cigars, and what drinks would best compliment each one. He cherished the moments spent gathering with his “brothers” to eat, drink, and smoke. Later in life, Kenny developed a love of fishing, and was especially fond of times spent fishing with his brother Ronald Kenny’s memory will live forever in the hearts of his wife and daughters, his grandchildren Kaellin and Imani, his son -in-law Chad Fant, his brother Henry (Diana), sister Valerie, and sisters-in-law Belinda, Joyce, Rhonda, and Nakia. As well as nieces Joy, Latreil, Qiana, Faith, Danielle, Melinda (Lawrence), and Dominique; nephews Omar, Kori (Renee),Todd, Emmanuel, LaDerrick (Kesmir), Demetrius (Marissa), DeSean and Jaden; godchildren Clarence Thompson, Duane Hawk and Jennifer Sumerlin, friends Shelly Boujai, and Allen Andrews; and his “brothers”: Brian Montgomery, Anthony Montgomery, Curtis Thompson, Carlos Hendricks, Darryl Hendricks, David Spaulding, Alvin Fortson, and Michael Smith. Kenny will also be warmly remembered by a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues.
The continuous theme of Kenny’s life was love. He was not always easy to get along with, but you always knew that he loved you. When you think of Kenny, remember his smile and laughter, and honor his life and spirit by loving those you hold dear.
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