Chesterton Tribune



Celebration of life Saturday for Kensey L. Alsman, 69

Back To Front Page


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” Hennings.

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.

Throughout his 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



Posted 11/6/2019




Search This Site:

Custom Search