O.D. Kenemore, a former commissioner for the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission, passed away Oct. 18, 2004 at M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston. Commissioner Kenemore was appointed as an Employee Commissioner in April 1990 and, in 1993, was reappointed and served until April 9, 1999.
Throughout his life, Commissioner Kenemore was a strong advocate for workers. He was active in the Texas AFL-CIO and was a member of the Texas Labor Hall of Fame. During his working career, he was employed by the Tideland Central Labor Council. He was a pipefitter and charter member of the Pipefitters Local Union No. 390 where he served as business manager for over 30 years. During his more than 20-year career as vice president of the Texas Pipe Trades, he represented workers before the Texas Industrial Accident Board, predecessor to the Commission. He held the position of vice president and trustee of the Texas AFL-CIO for District Four.
“O.D. Kenemore was a strong and tenacious advocate for the working men and women of Texas while serving as Commissioner on the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission,” said Jack Garey, who served as a TWCC Commissioner from 1990 to 1995. “He fought hard for employee rights and was highly respected for his leadership and perseverance on behalf of all employees. He will be sorely missed and mourned by all who knew and worked with him on the Commission.”
TWCC staff who worked with Commissioner Kenemore will remember him for his unwavering devotion to the worker and his passion for social justice.
“Commissioner Kenemore served during the first years of this agency which was a tumultous time,” said Linda McKee, director of Commissioner Liaison. “During his nine years of service, he never waivered in his efforts to ensure that Commission rules were fair and equitable for the injured worker. We are fortunate to have worked with this exceptional man.”
Commissioner Kenemore was active in his community, having served on the Houston-Galveston Council of Governments, the Gulf Coast Private Industry Council, the Board of Directors for the Brazoria County Youth Home, and on the Board of the Brazoswood National Bank. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Clute, the Masonic Lodge No. 1334, the Brazoria County Shrine Club, and the El Mina Temple of Galveston.
In 2003, United Way honored Commissioner Kenemore for his volunteerism with the William D. Colegrove Award. The Facts, a Brazoria County newspaper, reported “Whether it was a worker fighting for his rights, a troubled youth who needed guidance or someone who needed medical care in their home, O.D. Kenemore always had time to help those who were less fortunate.”
Funeral services were held Oct. 20, 2004, at the First Baptist Church of Clute, Texas, with the Rev. Duane Phy and the Rev. Mark Cox officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to Houston Hospice, 1905 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030-4123; or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Texas Gulf Coast Chapter, 5005 Mitchelldale, Houston, Texas 77092.
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