My Brother – the Hero

Billy Kennedy

Billy Kennedy
Deputy Sheriff, Upton County (TX) Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Billy F. Kennedy, Jr. (Bubba) was shot and killed after responding to a call at a convenience store on South Burleson Avenue, in McCamey, Texas, at approximately 11:15 pm on October 2, 2013.

After he arrived at the scene, he encountered a male subject. During the encounter the two exchanged gunfire. Despite being mortally wounded, Deputy Kennedy was able to return fire and wounded the suspect.

Deputy Kennedy had served in law enforcement for 14 years. He is survived by his wife and two sons, parents, and a sister.

Deputy Kennedy lived in Midkiff, Texas. Billy Frank Kennedy, Jr., always known as “Bubba” was 37 years old and born on November 27, 1975 in Rankin, Texas. He was employed as a deputy sheriff for 14 years in Pecos, Brown, and Upton Counties in Texas. He was also a K-9 handler many of those years and was in progress of training another K-9 at the time of his death. He loved being a peace officer more than anything and was an avid hunter and team roper. During the years, he did oilfield work as well, but always worked as a reserve deputy, and went back to working as a full-time peace officer after the oil field. He looked forward to hunting season every year and competed in many team-ropings including the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

He grew up in Iraan, Texas and graduated from Iraan High School in 1994. He graduated from the Police Academy in Abilene, Texas in 1998. He was married to his wife, Jodie for 17 years and he has 2 sons: Lane and Blake. Bubba is also survived by his parents, Billy Frank, Sr. and Della Kennedy of McCamey, Texas. He has one sister, Cindy Portman and husband, Barry of Midland, Texas and their children, nieces and nephews: Morgan, Stephanie, Cole, and Lance. He also has multiple cousins, aunts, uncles.

He was preceded in death by his favorite K-9, Harry.

I am Deputy Kennedy’s sister, Cindy. We were always close. He was my baby brother, even though he was 6’3”. My first memory of him is when I was held up to the nursery window when he was born. He was 2.5 years younger than me. We always spent Thanksgiving together and always saw each other at Christmas. Our children were also close cousins. One of my daughters was born the same day as his oldest son. Same day, same year.

He was always smiling. This is something I miss about him. He always had a story to tell which usually was about the escapades regarding his job. He seemed to encounter the strangest of individuals and told me and others about the funny aspects of the job. He had an enormous impact on my life. He was my only sibling and we looked out for each other. When I had something bothering me, he was the one I called. Also, when I saw or heard something funny, he was the one I called to tell about it. He always loved a funny story or joke.

Bubba is greatly missed by not only his family, but the entire community. He always talked to everyone he met. He was an extremely happy and social person. I’m very proud to have been able to share my life with him for 37 years. He protected other people from dying the night he was killed. He didn’t deserve to die. He was a protector and was not afraid of anything. This bravery also contributed to his death. Had he been scared, he might have done things differently that night and someone else would have lost his/her life. The Lord took a great man and heaven is better for having him there in God’s Army. We on earth, are also better for having known him and having had him protect us for the time we had him. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for our community and he will always be remembered and loved.

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