Let me tell you a story. When I joined Acquia in April 2011, the Support group was a small pool of passionate and talented drupalists working day and night to service our customers. And there was Kenny, aka webkenny. The vocal, outspoken and hilarious personality that was going to accompany Tim Millwood and I every morning when we were holding down the fort during EMEA hours, as the company was scaling up.

Acquia Support team meeting, back in the day

So, yesterday evening, when we received an email informing us Kenny had passed away, this brought back all those memories, and a deep sadness, because we all fought closely together to make things right and help each other.

It is with great sadness that we learned today that Kenny Silanskas has passed away. This is a terrible loss for Kenny’s family, for us at Acquia, and for the the Drupal community.

Kenny joined Acquia in 2009 and was instrumental into building the Acquia spirit and bringing the energy needed to wake up everyday and start all over again. Not without a lot of laughter.

…and certainly not without killing it on stage.

When he decided to take on another challenge, I recommended him on Linkedin and wouldn’t change a word today:

Kenny is a natural-born leader who has a passion for sharing knowledge and moving mountains. From Client Advisor to Technical Account Manager and then Support Team Manager, he has always gained respect from his peers both technically and by his positive and energetic attitude. Today I’m better at what I do thanks to the high standards of customer satisfaction Kenny taught me about.

Because, yes, Kenny was quite a character, a generous and kind-hearted man, but also an excellent troubleshooter and technical lead. Maybe you remember his epic DrupalCon London 2011 session Living, Breathing, Drupal: The Biology of the Request with the 8-bit Dries?

Life’s full of surprises. Kenny had just come back to Acquia. We were so happy. But unfortunately, at the end of September he was gone again. I didn’t really understand what was happening and didn’t ask questions. So, when he last tweeted a few days ago, I obviously didn’t imagine this would mean so much, after all.

Acquia’s co-founder sums it best.

Never forget that smile. You will be sorely missed, my friend.

Kenny at Acquia Customer Service Day

A GoFundMe has been set up in his memory. Please consider donating.