Established in 1875
Kenneth Nelson Enright, 71, passed away Friday at 10:21 PM, on March 23, 2018, in Urbana, Illinois, surrounded by family. He was born in New Vienna, Ohio. His parents were Kenneth Donald Enright and Lorraine Farrier Enright, missionaries to Zaire in Central Africa.
Kenneth grew up in the Katanga province, and spoke fluent Swahili. He attended school in Mulunguishi, Sandoa, Sakeji boarding school, and briefly in New Haven, CT and Fort Wayne, IN, while in the United States. He considered Africa his home, where he developed a reputation as a tough, serious, and fearless hunter.
Upon the directive of his father, Kenneth begrudgingly left Africa to attend college at Taylor University, in Upland, IN. He was subsequently a fellow at Northwestern, until his education was interrupted by the Vietnam War. When drafted— unlike many— he refused to send someone else in his place. Kenneth Enright served in the US Army as a combat medic, until his Honorable Discharge in 1970.
After receiving his graduate degree in Economics from Northwestern, Kenneth attended Law School at the University of Illinois and received his Juris Doctorate. Unsatisfied with a comfortable career in law or academia, he chose to face the risk of real failure in making an actual product.
With no experience or engineering education, Kenneth started various manufacturing companies. He successfully made lapidary machines and jewelry, before settling on his hunting interest, and manufacturing components for the sporting goods industry. With his wife Denise Enright, he founded Altamont Company in 1978, a design, manufacturing and technology company. In 2008, their sons Chester, Merlin and Patrick joined the business. Kenneth also supported a school in Congo and a variety of large scale economic development projects, including a woodworking factory in Zambia.
In 2009, Kenneth was diagnosed with an aggressive form of multiple myeloma. Never one to conform to expectation, he surpassed all reasonable projections and routinely enjoyed shocking doctors with his health and vivacity. He experienced an untreated remission of cancer after the top drugs and a bone marrow transplant failed—the scientific and technical term is “miracle”.
Kenneth continued his projects both home and abroad until the end. He had a special concern for foreigners, as he considered himself one. His time was not wasted. He was a loyal Christian —a good soldier, upholding his moral duty —focused on getting results rather than getting credit. His courage, personal honor and loyalty to his family and his God dictated his life. He believed his life was extremely blessed, which he faithfully passed on to others.
Kenneth Nelson Enright is survived by his wife, Denise Enright; his children, Michael and Elizabeth, and Chester, Merlin, Patrick, and Kenneth; grandchildren, Andrea, Nathan, Ethan, William, Brennan, Kenan; siblings Elaine, Eileen, and Elinda. His younger brother John preceded him, in 2017, to Heaven.
A visitation will be held from 6:00-8:00 PM on Friday, April 6, 2018 at Mattis Ave. Free Methodist Church in Champaign. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the church. Memorials may be made to the Enright Flight Ministries, c/o Eileen Ledgerwood, 200 Forest Lake Blvd., Suite 3, Daytona Beach, Fla, 32119. Condolences may be offered at www.renner-wikoffchapel.com.