We become inured to the headlines: Roxbury man shot and killed. Man killed in Roxbury. Murder at a Roxbury park. Behind the headline is someone's son, someone's friend, someone's neighbor.
So it is with Kenneth Rackley. Dan Cruz, Vice President of the Highland Park based business Cruz Companies, is also a Highland Park resident and a self-professed "admirer" of Kenneth Rackley.
"One of our residents, Kenny Rackley who lived in the Cox Building in John Eliot Square, was killed at Washington Park on Sunday. I have known Kenny for over 15 years and know him to be a "great" kid and an "exceptional" human being, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The family does not have insurance nor the funds to pay for his funeral services. We will be giving the family a check today, but more money is needed. If you know of any folks who may want to contribute, I'd appreciate your passing this information on to them.
The Kenneth Rackley Memorial Fund has been established at Citizen's Bank in Dudley Square. You can contact either Ronia Stewart at Citizen's (617) 445-2330, or Faye Rackley (Kenny's Grandmother), (617) 571-4086 for more information".
Cruz Companies offices are on the ground floor of the Cox Building so people working for the company watched Kenny grow. Receptionist Laurie Snow said it broke her heart when she got the news he'd been shot. She'd known him since he was a baby and he was "an exceptional human being". "Ask him to do anything and he'd do it without question," she said. "And he had a smile to break your heart. If you were feeling down, he'd smile at you and you'd feel much better."
"He would just go out of his way to help the young girls in the neighborhood, see that they got home safe," she said.
Burial services for Kenneth Rackley will be held on Wednesday, August 4 at the United Baptist Church, 322 Centre Street, JP. The viewing is from 10 a.m. until noon with the funeral directly following.