Malcolm Kenneth "Kenny" Wilson Malcolm Kenneth "Kenny" Wilson passed away at the age of 55 on Friday, March 6, 2009, after a courageous and hard-fought battle against esophageal cancer. To his family, Kenny was a husband, a father, a brother, a son, and a friend. To his extended family at the Austin Police Department, Kenny was a highly respected Sergeant and regarded as a hero, a friend, and an exemplary leader in the department and throughout the community. Kenny was born in Merced, California, on December 5, 1953 to Malcolm Kenneth Wilson Sr. and Billie June Wilson. The family moved to Austin in 1965 and Kenny graduated from Reagan High School. He attended Austin Community College and worked as a police officer at the University of Texas before joining the Austin Police Department in 1980. On June 26, 1982, Kenny wed Tracy Diana Mullican. Their marriage produced many happy years together and two sons. At APD, Kenny was on the SWAT Team from 1988 through 1996 and was the Sergeant over the Bomb Squad from 2001 to present. During his distinguished career, he received ten departmental decorations including two Lifesaving Medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, and one of the highest medals issued to a Police Officer: the Distinguished Command Medal. Kenny was also nominated by his peers and awarded Officer of the Year. He was also twice recognized with awards from the 100 Club of Austin; one for saving a young girl's life who was being held hostage by her father; the second, the Outstanding Team Award for his work with the Bomb Squad on dismantling an explosive device outside an Austin health clinic. The successful disarming of the IED and preservation of evidence led to the discovery of other explosive devices mailed around the United States. The investigation led to the successful arrest and conviction of the bomber. In 2006, Kenny was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He began the difficult and painful treatment processes, including major surgery to attempt to remove the tumors. It was a stressful and challenging time for Kenny as well as for those who loved him. However, Kenny always remained positive and upbeat and continued to work and lead his unit despite the grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments. His initiative and motivation as a leader was contagious to everyone around him. In 2009, Kenny learned the cancer had spread and it was becoming more painful and difficult for him to continue the profession he loved. Even then, he approached each day with passion and commitment and proved to be a source of inspiration to all. He truly believed that "laughter is a part of healing" and that "every meal is a feast and every day a holiday." A leader is defined as: a person of incredible integrity; someone people freely choose to follow; and who influences others to do things they may not otherwise do. Kenny embodied all these characteristics and was a true leader at the Austin Police Department and in the Austin community. Kenny is survived by Tracy, his loving wife of 27 years; two sons, Randy and Daniel; his mother, Billie Wilson; sisters, Pam Wilson, Vicki Fughtt, and Patty Hicks; and Sasha, his sweet little dog. He is also survived by his mother- and father-in-law, Sharon and Jerry Mullican; and brother-in-law, Scott Mullican. He was preceded in death by his father, Malcolm Wilson Sr. and his niece, Amanda Poindexter. A heartfelt thank you from the family goes to Dr. Michael Kasper, Dr. Carl Nuesch, PA Lisa Sailer, and the entire staff at Texas Oncology in Austin; Dr. Alain Meta, PA Wayne Lawson, and the entire staff at the Cancer Therapy and Research Center in San Antonio; and a very special thank you to the entire staff at the Hospice Christopher House in Austin. The family would also like to thank Chief Art Acevedo, Commander Ron Gamble, the men and women of the Austin Police Department, and the Austin Fire Department Special Operations Division, who stood with Kenny throughout his battle. In a show of solidarity and out of respect for Sgt Kenny Wilson's dedication to the AFD Spec Ops Division, the Austin Fire Department Honor Guard, Pipes and Drum Corp, and Special Operations Division Rescue 14 will pay tribute to Sgt Wilson by assisting the Austin Police Department with the funeral service. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, North Lamar location, with a Prayer Remembrance Service at 7:00 p.m. Funeral services with full police honors will be at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, at Riverbend Church. Burial will be at Cook Walden Capital Parks. In lieu of flowers, Kenny requested a memorial contribution be made to Hospice Austin Christopher House, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road Suite 100, Austin, TX 78759. Kenny touched many lives both inside and outside the Austin Police Department. His smile, courage, and spirit, will never be forgotten. He will be missed.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Mar. 10, 2009.