National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 28
Year of Death: 2001

Kenneth J. Frayne

Kenneth J. Frayne was a very loving husband‚ son‚ brother and uncle. Never have I met someone who was as thoughtful and kind as he was.

Ken was the oldest of four boys. When Ken was young‚ he became very interested in construction and soon after learning about it‚ started his own business. His business grew to become very successful.

Ken also enjoyed hunting. He often hunted deer and even went boar and bear hunting a couple of times.

Ken and I were married in 1998 after dating for a year and a half. We built a house where we lived for three years and Ken became a firefighter in our community. He loved being a firefighter and getting to know everyone in our community. He was very outgoing and had many friends. We were married for a little over three years at the time of his death on October 13‚ 2001.

I just want everyone to know what a wonderful person he was. He was my best friend and I miss him dearly. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him. He was raised with all the qualities you look for in a mate. He was very loving‚ affectionate‚ honest‚ kind‚ and would help anyone who needed it. He has a great attitude about life and lived it to the fullest everyday.

Heaven gained a great soul when they took him. I only wish they’d have waited a little longer before they did. Ken died at only 28 years‚ but‚ in retrospect‚ those 28 years were filled with lots of love‚ friendship and a great ambition. He wanted to be the best he could be‚ which in all areas of his life‚ was achieved. He was the best husband‚ son‚ brother and uncle. I miss him dearly. May God bless and keep him.

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  1. Ken was my older brother and as brother we would fight a lot. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. I always looked up to Kenny. AS a father of three young kids I always tell them to huge and kiss your siblings because someday they may not be here anymore. Love and miss you Bro.

    – Edward Frayne
  2. Kenneth J. Frayne
    Jan 25 1973 – Oct 13, 2001

    Wonderful, caring, compassionate, patient, forgiving, hard-working, brave, clumsy, proud, intelligent, funny, handsome, annoying at times, dedicated and young. Way to young.

    Kenny owned his own construction company. He was extremely hard-working. His work day started at 4 am or so and went to 11 or 12 at night. His day didn’t end with the running around doing bids, or working at a job site. It ended at night doing paper work in his office barely keeping his eyes open. But there was one thing that Kenny loved besides his family and his business – firefighting. He was a volunteer at Channahon Fire Department in Illinois. I remember wondering why he loved that so much and why he would when he had so much else to do in his long busy day. Well I knew when we watched Kenny one evening doing paperwork and looking as if he were going to fall asleep. He heard his pager go off, called in to the station, and was off with a smile on his face. And in what seemed like only a few minutes, we heard the truck roll past his house and he waved to us and blew the horn. He was meant to do that.

    Oct 13, 2001
    I remember that day like it was yesterday. I know everyone says that, but when I really think about it, I feel the feeling I felt that day. No words can describe it. I have lost grandparents and other relatives, but this was different.

    I remember the last time I spoke to Kenny. It was the night before. Kenny always called too early in the morning, or too late at night. I learned that is when he had time. This time was at 10pm or so. I answered the phone and was really annoyed as usual. “Hey Jen, is Eddie there?” I can still hear his voice. I wish I had been nicer, or told him how much he meant to me, that he was the best brother-n-law that I could ever ask for, or that I loved him. But you don’t ever know when someone is going to get taken from you.

    Saturday morning I went to work like any other day. Late morning I received a call from my husband Ed (Kenny’s brother). “ Kenny’s missing.” Now, I didn’t understand how he could be missing. I had forgotten that he was going to be doing his dive training in Coal City with the other firefighters. Ed said that he went down and never came back up. I was in a panic and working as fast as I could to get out of work. I finally left an hour or so later. I called Ed to let him know that I was going to stop at home and then hurry out there. He told me that they found Kenny and that they were on the way to the hospital. Well when I arrived at Kenny’s house, I found out that yes they found him, but he was already gone.

    It was such a blur, going to the hospital, calling his customers, the wake & the funeral. Now he’s just gone. But I have never felt so honored to have known someone until I saw the honor he was shown. I was proud to stand there as part of his family. There were hundreds of firefighters that came from areas all around to come pay their respects to the firefighter they had never met. And the funeral, it was like a parade. The police and fire trucks escorted the fire truck that held Kenny’s Casket and took him for one last drive through Channahon. The children came out of the schools to wave flags as we passed. People lined the streets waving in thanks. None of this made the pain and hurt go away, but it did help comfort us.

    We know that he is still with us everywhere we go. And that makes life easier. When we do something stupid, we laugh because we can still remember the face he would make. We still ask him to look after us. We ask him for his strength when we have trouble in our lives.

    We miss him every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Independence Day, every other holiday, and every day of every year that goes by without him. We live each day hoping that we are making Kenny proud of us.

    Life goes on, people move on, but we will never forget. It’s easier not to cry. It’s easier to tell stories. But the pain, though dulled, it’s still there and it always will be. And though Our children never met him, they will always know their uncle Kenny with stories through us. “Uncle Kenny was a hero! He went to heaven which is up in the sky, up past the moon and the stars. You can always talk to him and he will always listen. Just wave.”
    The kids talk about him as if they knew him. Matthew said yesterday, “I sure miss uncle Kenny, mom”. My reply “and he misses you, too, kiddo!” That’s a sure sign that We’re keeping him alive with the stories! We went out to the cemetery to visit yesterday and sang our Christmas song like we always do. Anyone that knew him knew that he would start listening to Christmas songs around June and wouldn’t stop until maybe February! So we sang jingle bells for him. We love you, Kenny!
    Love, Ed, Jen, Kenny, Matthew and Hannah

    – Jennifer Frayne