Looming large at 6 foot 5, Lenny Kschenka, known by many around the region as “Tiny”, left a similarly huge impression on the people he met during his life.
On Monday police confirmed a body found on the Murrumbidgee near Wagga Beach on Friday evening was 66-year-old Lenny.
While the cause of death is still unknown, he is being fondly remembered as gentle giant, and a kind, generous man.
A local man through and through, Lenny was born in Pleasant Hills but moved to Coolamon with his mother Elsie, brother Neville and sister Jan after his father’s death when he was just two years old.
Later, he worked on his grandfather’s farm before taking up a position as a plant operator with Coolamon Shire Council.
Unfortunately, due to ill health, he had to retire, but he was never far from people’s minds.
His brother Neville Kschenka, from Narrandera, said he “wouldn’t hurt a fly”.
“He was a very generous person, and I quite often received inquiries about his health and how he was, many people in Junee and Ganmain where he also lived missed him and asked where he was,” Neville said.
Many will remember Tiny for his incredible musical talent, which runs in the family.
He was in a band in the ‘60s and played piano for residents at the Narrandera Nursing Home, at the Ganmain Hotel and in Junee.
“He was a very good musician,” Neville said.
The world just lost a very talented, kind soul.Amanda Simcoe, friend
“At the nursing home, they say they could name any tune and he could play it.
“Some say he could span a whole piano keyboard with one hand.”
The news of Lenny’s passing was met with an outpouring of grief on social media.
Amanda Simcoe befriended Lenny when he was living in Ganmain.
“He was the most kind-hearted man and deserved so much more than the life he had,” Ms Simcoe said.
“The world just lost a very talented, kind soul.”
The family have extended their thanks for the support.
“Thank you to the community for your support and the very respectful way in which the police have handled matters. I can’t speak highly enough of them,” Neville said.
Lenny is survived by his mum Elsie, two children Renee and Raymond and three grandchildren, Tameika Gallagher, 17, Teegan Gallagher, 22, and Harley Gallagher, 23.