Driving down Nebraska 15 you may have seen Kenny Remmers a time or two when he’s out walking his faithful dog, Reba. Sometimes the two companions take a break on a downtown bench and watch the world go by.
You may have wondered, “Why is that guy waving and smiling so much?”
This story will explain.
Kenny Remmers' greetings are not the typical small-town wave that Nebraskans are known for and may even feel obligated to do.
It’s a real wave, and a real smile.
The folks who work and live at Sunshine Court, operated by the David City Housing Authority, are not as surprised to see Kenny’s demeanor as maybe those who don’t know him. But they don’t take it for granted.
Perhaps that is why Renee Williams, executive director of DCHA, nominated Remmers for the Resident of the Year award for the Nebraska Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials.
The chapter recognized Remmers for his award at the most recent conference in August.
In her nomination, Williams had a lot to say about Remmers:
The summary of her nomination is most telling:
“You can ‘Google’ Kenny Remmers and you won’t find much. But people in David City know the world would be a much better place if there were more Kennys. His helpfulness, smiles and general demeanor make people smile when they see him.”
Now, back to the start of Williams’ nomination:
“I’m just a farmer,” says Kenny Remmers, who lives at Sunshine Court. His farming background shows as he goes around the complex pulling weeds and watering flowers.
As he walks his dog Reba around the Court and around the town, Kenny always has a smile and waves to everyone in every car that passes by.
“He says ‘David City is my town, where I grew up.’” When he sees weeds in the sidewalks or in planters or in rock landscaping on his jaunts around town, he stops and pulls them. Around the town square or wherever his walk takes him.. sometimes weeding entire blocks at a time.
Patriotism takes many forms. For Kenny patriotism is helping his neighbors by taking their, (as well as his own) American flags in at night and out in the morning.
But his volunteering doesn’t stop at weeding or watering the flower beds. Kenny helps other residents wash their windows, walk their dogs and take out the trash. He also helps scoop snow from doorways and sweep grass clippings and leaves that have blown in.
If that doesn’t take up all his time he gives other residents rides to appointments and different places and just looks out for others in general. Another service Kenny provides is collecting aluminum cans from his neighbors and donating them to the Boy Scout recycling project.
Kenny worked at Fletchers in Columbus for many years. After moving into Sunshine Court 12 years ago, he stopped working there and worked for the City of David Ctiy and the David City Housing Authority before retiring a few years ago. Kenny is the one resident who is most widely known to other tenants because of his caring personality and willingness to help others.
Kenny keeps his unit neat and tidy and when the weather is nice you can hear his favorite music come through his open windows. When he sees a new resident arrive, he introduces himself and offers to help move them in. His offers are always welcome and if the time comes that his ‘neighbors’ leave Sunshine Court, Kenny is there again, helping them pack up.
Kenny’s rent is always on time, and he takes good care of his apartment. He is never demanding in his demeanor and is known as the happiest guy in town.”