Jesse Kenneth Hambright, 82, who most knew as Kenneth, passed away January 1, 2018 in Abilene TX. He was born January 3rd 1935 in Norton TX to Jesse and Arline Hambright. Kenneth graduated from Norton High School in 1953. He started dating Shirley Jean Bowden in 1953 and he married his high school sweetheart 2 years later in 1955. Kenneth and Shirley lived in Ballenger TX for 2 years before he was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1957. He served 2 years and upon his honorable discharge from the Army the couple moved to Abilene TX where Kenneth worked odd jobs such as road construction, insurance salesman, and milk delivery man to support his family.
In 1962 Kenneth made the unselfish decision to become a public servant and started training at the Abilene Police Academy. Upon graduation from the academy he applied for a position with the Abilene Police Department but found out that he did not met the weight requirements. Determined as he was, he went home and ate bananas to gain weight. Kenneth joined the Abilene Police force in 1963 as a patrol officer and served in this capacity until 1966 when he joined the Canine Unit and took on a new partner named Sam. In 1970 he was promoted to sergeant and was assigned back to Patrol as a shift sergeant. In 1976 he was assigned as sergeant over the Training Division where he remained until 1978 when he was promoted to lieutenant. In 1980 he again returned to patrol as a shift commander and was promoted to the rank of captain. He remained a patrol commander until 1990 when he was assigned to CID as the Division Commander. After 32 years of service with the Abilene Police Department, Kenneth retired in March of 1995
Kenneth and Shirley served God and their community as members of the Palm Street, Northwest, and Oldham Lane Church of Christ for 59 years.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Arlene Hambright; sisters, Ouida Dickinson and Marjorie LaNell “Nell” Davis; and grandson, Justin Thomas Ryals.
He is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Shirley, three children, nine grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
His immediate survivors are; Brother, Winford Merideth Hambright of Odessa TX. – Son, Kenneth Wayne Hambright and wife Tanya of Killeen TX. – Son, Stephen Blane Hambright and wife Nikia of Fort Davis TX. – Daughter, Jessica Shirlean Ryals and husband Thomas of Hurst TX.
The family would like to extend their sincere thanks for all the kindness, prayers, and well wishes that have been extended to us as we go through this time of great sorrow.
Visitation will be 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at Elmwood Funeral Home, 5750 Hwy 277 South. A funeral service will be 10:00 AM Thursday, January 4, 2018 at Elmwood Funeral Home Chapel. Interment will follow the service in Elmwood Memorial Park.