Kenneth Arthur Hamm (But call him Kenny)

Son of Ann and Arthur Hamm, proud dog poppa to many (but especially Eli), proud graduate of Baker University, proud sales master at the Argosy Casino Hotel and Spa, proud secretary and member of Skål International, proud member of KCMPI, virulent Chief’s supporter and a happy partner to Jason Boggs.

He grew up in Sacramento, and spent some time in the twin cities before he drove to Austin. Truly, his formative years were in Texas. It’s probably the only state that could accommodate his outsized personality and laugh. There he started out as a bartender, but eventually managed an exclusive club called the Headliner’s Club, which catered a who’s who of celebrities, politicians, and upper crust. He loved Oaxacan sculptures and Whole Foods. After 20 some years there and the loss of his best friend David S., he moved to KC. He only stopped in KC because of a blizzard, he was heading to Seattle. KC won.

He worked in hospitality. It was his personality to be kind and patient, even with those who didn’t deserve it. He always went above and beyond for his clients. He developed personal relationships with them, even if they weren’t a guarantee. He basically spent his job making friends. In Kansas City, he worked at another exclusive club, the Riverside. After there he worked at the Westin, and at the Argosy Casino, Hotel and Spa. He made lasting impressions on everyone he worked with. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him, and he made everyone laugh.

Kenny was a phenomenon. On this whole wide world, there will never be another who can match his kindness, humor, and ambition. He kept a pocket of cash in his car for those who asked for money. He danced all the time, if people were watching or not. He loved to laugh. He loved music, especially Chris Isaak, Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Bob Dylan and Lyle Lovett. He was so happy to see Cher, Aretha Franklin, and Culture Club live. He loved scotch and Brazilian BBQ. And oh man, could he cook! He made the best smoked pork ribs in Kansas City, I swear. He had a recipe for a sausage-pasta casserole that makes any fall day great.

He LOVED LOVED LOVED his Mom, his friends, and his sweet jerk of a dog, Eli. There was nothing he would not do should they need anything, and I say that from experience.

There’s a giant gap in the world now. He was so much larger than life. It’s going to take all of us to step up and be kinder and happier and funnier to make up for it.

There will be Celebration of Life at Lew’s in Kansas City on November 2 from 2–4pm. All are welcome to come, share stories and honor the great man was Mr. Kenny Hamm. There will be another memorial in April of 2020, where his ashes will be spread among the Texas wildflowers, per his request.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ocean Conservancy ( Kenny adored whales, seals, dolphins, turtles, just about anything under the sea. He even had a tattoo of a whale on his ankle.

And because I can hear him yelling about this, vote Democrat, but he loves you no matter how you vote.