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Kenny Sirois, 16, Madawaska, ME

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  • Kenny Sirois, 16, Madawaska, ME

    More than 600 Mourn student in Madawaska

    By Beurmond Banville Of the News Staff

    MADAWASKA – Eight of Kenny Sirois’ Friends carried him into and out of Madawaska Middle-High School, where more than 600 mourners gathered Tuesday afternoon for his concelebrated funeral.

    Mourners nearly filled the gymnasium of the blue and white Madawaska Owls where Sirios practiced and played basketball. The entire student body attended and remember Kenny “Hangtime” Sirois, also known as “The Gentle Giant.”

    Young and old, male and female, wept, especially when the casket carrying the teenager was brought into the gymnasium, when he was eulogized by several classmates and basketball coach Matt Rossignol, and during a 10-minute slide presentation of his too-short life.

    Boys and girls lent shoulders to classmates as they openly cried while the casket – carrying the body of their beloved No. 22 basketball star and No. 24 baseball home run hitter – was carried out of the school, through a cordon of classmates for the final time.

    Sirois, 16, a star athlete and a National Honor Society student at Madawaska High School, collapsed and died at about 9:30 p.m. last Friday as he eared the end of a jogging stint with his twin brother.

    Sirois collapsed just before getting to the family home at the corner of 23rd Avenue and Fox Street just across the intersection from his home.

    “He was a true friend, a loyal friend, ...one who was there whenever anyone needed help,” Andre Roy told the crowd. “A gentle giant, ... mild-mannered, a happy-go-lucky kind of guy.”

    “He will cheer us on when we play Woodland (in baseball game later this week), in the playoffs,” Roy said.

    “He was my brother, my best friend,” Paul Roy read from a message written by Mark Sirois, Kenny’s identical twin brother. “Kenny died of a big heart, the biggest heart I’ve ever seen.”

    “When we ran that night he didn’t make it home,” Roy read from Mark’s message. “He ran right into heaven.”

    At Daigle’s Funeral Home, Sirois’ casket carried mementos – a trophy, a basketball signed by his teammates, and photos of him in uniform.

    The hallway to where his casket lay had a basketball jersey from Community High School at Fort Kent and scores of photographs.

    At the funeral, to the right of the casket and in front of the altar were his No. 22 basketball shirt, a baseball, and a baseball cap from both Madawaska High School and one brought by the Caribou baseball team.

    The Rev. James Albert, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic Church, concelebrated the funeral Mass with Rev. Claude Gendreau of Fort Kent, Monsignor Leopold Nicknair of St. David and Deacon Donald Clavette, a former teacher at Madawaska.

    “He was amongst us only a brief time,” Albert said in his homily. “Kenny lived his life, though it was cut short.”

    “Judge his life by the intensity he lived it,” he said. “He was a loyal friend, a hard worker on the court, on the field, and in the classroom. He had a strong desire to succeed.”

    Sirois, a 6-foot, 3-inch, 220-pound athlete, was one of the basketball stars who took the Owls basketball team to its first ever Eastern Maine High School tournament appearance this spring.

    Sirois also played baseball for the Madawaska High School Owls, and played soccer and participated in track in both Corinna and in South Carolina before the family moved back to Madawaska when the twins were sixth-graders.

    Vincent and Wendy Sirois said their son died of a flaw in his heart . Doctors told them the condition could not have been foreseen.

    Rossignol, who also taught Sirois, said the young man and his twin brother were looking forward to bringing the Owls back to the Eastern Maine Basketball Tournament next winter.

    At the funeral, Rossignol talked about “this great kid, ...in whose memory we will be playing next year.”

    “Kenny, you are on a better team now, a team with a much better coach,” Rossignol said at the end of his eulogy, “God bless you, No. 22, God bless you Kenny.”

    Bangor Daily News Photo by Beurmond Banville
    Serving as pallbearers, eight friends of Kenny Sirois carry his casket to Madawaska Middle-High School for his funeral Tuesday afternoon. Hundreds of people were in attendance.

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