PADUCAH, Ky. - Cornelius S. (Kenny) Canestrini, age 77, of Paducah, KY., completed his life on Earth as a Christian at 1:03 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, 2013, at Lourdes Hospital.
Born in New York City on December 2, 1935 to Italian immigrant parents, Gregario and Otillia Canestrini, he served 26 years in the U.S. Army. He was a Vietnam Veteran, who over the span of his military service was a drill sergeant, airborne infantry and a career counselor. He retired at the rank of E-7/SFC, at Fort Polk, Louisiana. Upon retirement from the U.S. Army, he began a subsequent career at St. Patrick Hospital, in Lake Charles, LA., in the maintenance department. After 20 additional years of dedicated service, he retired permanently and moved to the West Coast, where he resided until moving to Paducah, KY., in 2012 to live near family.
A lifelong, devout Catholic, he was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, proudly serving a term as Grand Knight. Additionally, he was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Having had such a strong military background, he was an avid supporter of Disabled American Veterans and the USO.
He was a quiet man, who loved his family and God. Proud, faithful, loyal, caring, strong and kind are all words used to describe him. Kenny was a Patriot in every sense of the word. His larger than life laugh and smile that lit up a room were shared freely with all who had been blessed with his presence.
He is preceded in death by his parents. Brother, Augusto Canestrini; sister, Gloria Canestrini Pierce and Son-in-Law, James E. Ambler.
Surviving him is a sister, Diana Snyder of Hesperia, CA; his sons, Dean G. Canestrini (Rebecca) of Paducah, KY; Ricky A. Canestrini (Kathrin) of Montgomery, TX; a daughter, Julie A. Ambler of Cedar City, UT. His surviving grandchildren, Brittany Aten of Lake Havasu City, AZ; Candace Fowles of Cedar City, UT; Nicole and Jessica Canestrini of Montgomery, TX; Dean G. Canestrini, II, Zackary D. Canestrini and Isabella G. Canestrini of Paducah, KY. Additional survivors include four great grandchildren.
Services will be held in the form of a memorial Mass at 10 a.m., Friday, August 30th, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church with Father Brian Roby officiating. Burial will follow in the Nashville National Cemetery, 1420 Gallatin Road, South Madison, TN., with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, ATTN: Capital Campaign Fund, 116 South 6th Street, Paducah, KY., 42001.
You may leave a message of sympathy or light a memorial candle at www.milnerandorr.com.
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