A wonderful man from Queensbury, Ken Hand, died last week, and probably 1,000 people showed up at calling hours Tuesday evening at Regan Denny Stafford Funeral Home. The line came out the doors, stretched diagonally across the parking lot and spilled down the grass toward Quaker Road. People who came to pay their respects had to stand outside for about an hour, then spend about 45 minutes more inside, where the line snaked into and out of rooms off the lobby and up and down a hallway.
I had gotten to know Ken and his wife, Mary, and his five great kids through youth hockey, because his daughter Catherine played with my daughter Zoe. I expected to see other families at the calling hours that we had known through hockey, but so many more people were there, some whom I knew and some I didn't. Ken was an unfailingly kind and engaging person, who always showed an interest in whoever he was with. He was always a pleasure to see and left you feeling happier than before you saw him. His stamina was also amazing. A UPS pilot, he would frequently show up at a remote rink somewhere in New England after having flown out to the middle of the country and back on a UPS run.
The community will miss Ken but the people he touched had a chance to come together Tuesday night and see how wide that community — the friends of Ken — was.