Sunday, January 23, 2005

William Albert "Will" Kenyon, infant son of Mary and John Kenyon of Iowa City, died Saturday, January 22, 2005, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics from complications of premature birth.

Will was born October 26, 2004 at 24 weeks gestation. He weighed 522 grams at birth, slightly more than one pound. He spent his 12 weeks and four days of life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Children's Hospital of Iowa under the expert and loving care of a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and therapists.

Will was a strong fighter, fending off numerous challenges. He liked to hold his hands next to his face and chin. He was most comfortable lying on his tummy. He had a strong grip when offered a finger to hold. A parental hand cupping the top of his head kept him calm and comfortable. Sometimes he tapped his feet as if hearing music in his head. He was soothed listening to a lullaby CD and hearing his parents read stories, especially Goodnight Moon, Two Little Trains, and Jamberry.

In addition to his parents he is survived by his grandparents, Bill and Holly Kenyon of Des Moines, Iowa, and Martin and Maureen Geraghty of Evanston, Ill; great grandparents Jesse and Margaret Askren of Chariton, Iowa, and Mary Regina Ganey of Chicago, Ill.; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Will was also loved and cherished by hundreds of friends, family and strangers near and far who followed the story of his life as chronicled lovingly each day by his father at

The family will greet friends from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 26, at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service, 2720 Muscatine Ave. in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Will's memory to the William A. Kenyon Memorial Fund. The fund will support other babies who face struggles as Will did in his short life.

Will demonstrated each day the value and fragility of life, and we are thankful for every moment we spent with him. Parents hug their children a little harder because of Will. We will hold him in our hearts forever.


Blogger Trisha said...

I can't even express how sorry I am for your loss. I first learned of you son by simply clicking the next blog button one afternoon about 6 weeks ago. Ever since then I've checked on him daily and prayed just as often for his survival. While flipping through the paper this morning I saw his name in the obituary list. Tears instantly came to my eyes as if I had lost an old friend. In my heart he will always be like an old friend as will the both of you. Thank you for sharing your son with the world for the short time that he was here! There are special places in Heaven for angels like Will and you'll find your eternity there as well.

Mechanicsville, IA

9:19 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I am so terribly sorry for your loss... I always read your blog when I first get to work every morning, to check on Will's progress... God Bless you both.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read about your son, Will in the Gazette. Please except my sincere sympathy for this precious angel. I know he'll live forever in your hearts.

Cedar Rapids

11:51 AM  
Blogger Chad said...

In this time of horrible sadness and loss it is important that you focus on the wonderful blessing Will has been in your lives. God chose you to comfort one of his littlest and most defenseless. By all accounts you performed admirably. Will has been straightened from this world's crookedness and awaits a glorious reunion with his beloved Mommy & Daddy in God's time.

Please accept my deepest condolences. As a father of three who lost a nephew to SIDS, I can just begin to appreciate your loss. The courage you have shown is inspirational. Thank you and God bless.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. and Mrs. Kenyon,

I just happened upon your blog from another website I read regularly. I am a college student from Pennsylvania studying abroad in Spain for this spring semester. Though I have never met you and and your son, I wanted to offer you my sincere condonlonces to you and your family. Will is in a better place with the Big Man Upstairs.

May He bless you and your family.


4:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though I'm under 50, I'm Irish, therefore I read the obituaries everyday here in Chicago, in the Tribune. I came across your son's today. And I wanted you to know I think it was one of the most beautifully written, most touching pieces I have ever read. I'm so very sorry for your loss...and what an extraordinary loss it is. Please know that there are people out here, whom you'll never know, who mourn for you and with you. And will forever include you and your sweet little boy in their prayers. God bless you and be with you.


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, and me and my family will pray for you tonight. God bless you.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you. God will cherish that little boy as you have cherished him. Take care of each other.

7:58 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

What love! Perfect, unassailable love!

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about your son. I will remember you both in my prayers. God bless.

3:46 AM  
Blogger Shelmalynne said...

I have read about your son for the past week and was heartbroken when I read that he had passed away. My heart aches for your family. Will is now playing in heaven with others but knows that you will always have a special place in your heart for him. I know that he touched me with his struggles. Take comfort in having each other and especially support each other. You will have good days and bad days, but just be there for one another. God bless your family and especially little Will.

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for your loss. You will be in my and my family's prayers.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please accept my condolences. I can not know what you are feeling, but am praying for you.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and grant you grace in this time of grief.

Dana and Anthony Roberts

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Words cannot adequately address the loss you have suffered. May God in His mercy hold you and console you in this time of sadness. Our prayers are with you.

Will Kenyon's life can only be measured in the impact he had, not the number of days he was granted. Clearly, he had a better life than many of us will. I'm grateful to have known of him.

troy Prettyman

6:58 PM  
Blogger Brian B said...

I can't imagine the pain you must feel. My own child is about to be born prematurely, but not that early. I will pray for you, even as others have prayed for me.

7:15 PM  
Blogger rocko said...

I am sorry for your loss. I wish you luck in the future. If you wish to talk to someone who has experienced a similar loss, please stop by my blog and leave a message.
Peace to you and your wife.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Stellarview said...

I am so sorry for your loss......I know that words seem so inadequate at this time, but, unfortunately, that is all that this medium will a new father myself, I cannot imagine how hard this must be on your family...Know that he is in a better place and that there he is at peace.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to extend my warmest sympathy on the passing of your little Will. I have been reading your posting since the beginning with the hope all will turn out well. I was amazed at how much of a fighter he was under all his conditions.
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Robert Roghair said...

Mary and John,
It was with great sadness that I heard of Will's passing. He was a tremendous fighter that unfortunately faced unending and overwhelming hurdles. Your love for him was unparalleled and unforgettable. You fought for him as much as he fought for you. He was a very special baby that will be loved and remembered by all of his friends here in the hospital.

Will's spirit is now in a much better place (probably still having the late night parties with the girls). I am so sorry we had no magic to offer while he was with us.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance to you now or in the future.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You shared perfect love with a child who will never disappoint you and whose courage and tenacity were powered by complete innocence.

All of our earthy relationships must end, but yours with Will, although too brief, were intense and completely loving.

You have enriched all of us with your poignant account of his 12 weeks of life. Thank you.


2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will never be able to read Jamberry to my kids again without thinking of your sweet Will. What a strong little kid!

Sending you prayers from Napa, California.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My eyes caught Will's picture showing on today's newspaper early this morning and thought to read when I get to work. By the time I was able to read the article it was past 5pm. As I was reading down my heart was aching and realized I was praying... Then my eyes stopped at the last paragraph. My heart goes out to Will's family. God bless Will's family.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Adrianne said...

I'm so very sorry. I lost my son in Nov. due to prematurity (20 weeks). I'll be praying for you in the hard times to come.

3:28 PM  

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