Kensey L. Alsman,
69, of Chesterton, managed to avoid a scheduled company meeting on Sunday,
October 27, 2019, by passing away suddenly. He obviously overplayed his hand
(even more so than the time he called off work with Ebola).
Kensey made his
grand entrance on March 30, 1950. Born to Jessie Sinks and Aaron Alsman, he
was number two of seven and was raised by his mom and stepdad Willis “Sonny”
He leaves behind to
share his stories, and retell his corny jokes: his son Kensey “Digger”
(Jody), daughter Amy (Tim), grandchildren Payton, Kensey “Oliver” and
Maggie, brothers Lloyd “Tomm”, Mike, Jeff, and sister Donna, along with many
in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, two cats, and chosen family members
Krissy, Tim, Eric, Julie, and Dee. . .among many other friends.
Saving him a seat
at the poker table in the afterlife, is the Love of His Life, his wife
Deborah “Debbie”, his mom, dad, brother Willis “Joe”, sister Debbie, and
stepsons Craig and Bryan.
In 1980 Kensey
married Debbie and proclaimed, in the words of John Prine, “Against all
odds, Honey we're the big door prize”. They truly had “Big ol’ hearts dancin'
in their eyes.” He was a loving husband, proud Pa, and an ecstatic grandpa.
A true Renaissance
man, Kensey was a retired millwright from Bethlehem Steel, and a retired
roll builder from NMLK. He was very active in the USWA, and later was the
proud president of The Longshoreman Local. He often referred to himself as
“The Most Famous Steelworker in America”. He wrote The Steelbarrel News,
published the highly acclaimed short story “Fetching Bums”. He played
harmonica, guitar, and sang in numerous bands while growing up. He was on
many volleyball, softball, and trivia teams throughout the years, and was
active in a local poker league. Kensey was an epic story teller. He painted
with words, like a bar room Bob Ross, using a palette of genius and
profanity. He built computers, owned his own real estate company, renovated
houses, moved 13 times in 14 years, and spent months in libraries
researching his family's genealogy (before it was cool). He also coached his
daughter’s softball team, worked 80+ hour weeks in the mill, left in a
moment's notice for an unplanned road trip to New Orleans, and made
the best Christmas Night Chili you ever did eat. He recently won his first
poker tournament and beat Leroy in a game of pool (yes, that Leroy). We know
this, because he told us several hundred times.
life, Kensey loved live music and the way that it connected people. After
Debbie passed away, Kensey picked up his camera and revisited pubs and
taverns to document the local music scene. Behind the lens, he captured
moments of pure joy and archived many people’s good ol' times far before
they were "old". "Juke Joint Photos” is just one of many things that made
Kensey a beloved fixture in the community. He even proclaimed himself a
"beloved icon" of several local taverns. When Kensey was younger he spent
time playing and listening to live music at a coffee house in Porter,
Indiana, called Saturday's Child. This year he was happier than a pig in
mud, when he and his best friend, Krissy Aguilar, repurposed that same
building into his dream business: The Steel Barrel Tavern. Kensey thoroughly
and unapologetically lived life on his own terms. He helped many people
through rough patches and out of dark times. He may be one of the best
people any of us ever knew. Kensey will truly be missed.
Please join us at
The Steel Barrel Tavern this Saturday November, 9, 2019, from 2 p.m.-5 p.m.
for a 21 and over celebration of the life of a Duneland Icon.
In lieu of flowers,
please donate in Kensey’s honor to The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater
Northwest Indiana at bgcgreaternwi.org