Tuesday, April 20, 2010

RIP Captain Kwame Waikenda - My Brother, My Friend

Often times in life I find that there is a balance ... one that I don't always like. It seems like happy things are often balanced by sad. Last week was one of those weeks. A knitting group friend of mine is pregnant with twins and with the help of her husband we planned a surprise baby shower. She was gifted with lots of great hand knits that I know she will treasure forever. I planned the event, made the desserts and knit two shirts for her twins. I love doing things like this so it was looking to be a fun week of last minute preparations. Babies are always happy occasions, especially in a situation like this where the parents are so deserving yet struggled to become pregnant.

So here comes the bad to balance out the good... A friend and fraternity brother of ours from college passed away a couple of weeks ago. We all just found out about it a few days before the baby shower. I'm still in shock. Kwame Waikenda was one of the nicest, happiest, most intelligent and driven people i've ever met. He's someone I wanted my kids to meet. You couldn't not be happy in his presence. We are all shocked and saddened by the news. I've coordinated an effort through our fraternity brothers to buy a memorial brick at UF in his memory and to raise money to donate in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project. We also wrote an article to be published in The Gear, the national magazine of Theta Tau.

So once again the happy and the sad come together. I'm going to attempt to paste the article below. We'll see how it comes out. I've also scanned a couple of pictures from college that i'll add.

Captain Kwame Waikenda

August 14, 1976 – March 30, 2010

Zeta Gamma #124

Always Our Brother, Always Our Friend

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of our brother’s passing. Kwame was an amazing person full of kindness and joy. His integrity, motivation and positive disposition were an inspiration to those who knew him. He had an infectious smile and an incredible spirit. He will forever be remembered and deeply missed by those of us who were lucky enough to call him our brother and friend.

Originally from Kenya, he graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Computer Engineering and entered the US Marine Corps. He went on to earn his wings and was promoted to the rank of Captain in 2006. Kwame had just returned from his second tour of duty in Iraq and was gearing up for a tour of Afghanistan when his life was tragically cut short. He was one of our finest brothers and countrymen and his service to our country will never be forgotten.

You can read more about Kwame at the memorial website created by his family:


In H&T,

Celena M. Crews ZG #61

Brett A. Crews ZG #89

Theta Tau brothers, Fall 2000 Graduation
Left to right: Marcos, John, Angela, Paul, Me, Kwame, Jamie

This was taken during a Theta Tau campout at "the farm" where we now live. Brett and I are on the far left and Kwame is on the far right, smiling as usual.

This is a little graphic I made to set as my facebook profile during the days of his memorials in NC since we couldn't be there.


  1. Thank you for your article in The Gear, which I read today. If you could please send information about contributing to the memorial brick at UF to me at dan.white [at] thetatau.org, I will see if I can help contribute. Rest in peace, Brother Waikenda.

    In H & T,
    Daniel "Xander" White
    Student Member of the National Executive Council

  2. Kwame Waikenda was simply amazing.His personality,was breath taking.I miss him so much,our chats on face-book,emails and most of all when he came to visit Kenya.I wont shed a tear now because i know that what separates us is time.I love you Kwame.Please don't forget us.

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