GREENWICH, Conn. — Kenneth "Kenny" Woodd-Cahusac, a longtime Greenwich resident, died unexpectedly on March 11 in Riverside. He was 60.
Born July 8, 1956, in New York City, Woodd-Cahusac and his family soon relocated to Old Greenwich.
They later moved to Clapboard Ridge Road in Greenwich, where he resided for 35 years before settling in Riverside in 1999.
Delighted to be living independently for the first time, upon stepping into the house his family purchased for him, he remarked in awe "This is mine?!," according to his obituary.
A familiar figure around town, Woodd-Cahusac was often seen walking up the Post Road to Riverside Commons and to Joey B's in Cos Cob.
"Though he was autistic, a disorder that sometimes creates social challenges, he was friendly and well-mannered, as uninhibited introducing himself to strangers — with a firm handshake — as he was hitting the dance floor," his obituary said. "He also embodied the best parts of the '60s and '70s, often wearing cut-off jeans and Woodstock T-shirts, listening to classic rock and exclaiming, 'Right on!'"
Woodd-Cahusac took pride in his home, especially during the holidays. He loved putting up his "ooky, spooky lights" for Halloween and decorating his Christmas tree with cards that he kept year after year.
Each spring, he set up his grandmother's water fountain on his front lawn.
He also delighted in his birthday, last July celebrating his 60th with a big family gathering and his favorite meal of steak, salad and garlic bread.
Woodd-Cahusac met friends everywhere he went, and was proud to say he traveled on his own to every state.
Gifted with an amazing memory, Woodd-Cahusac could instantly cite the exact distance to and from LaGuardia Airport, immediately recall any particular event — the year, day, hour, temperature and whether it was raining or snowing. Most of all, he was a gentle soul who would do anything for his family, friends and neighbors.
He graduated from Greenwich High School in 1975 and, that same year, he enrolled in the Denver Automotive School, where he received a certificate in automotive repair.
But his true love was electricity and Woodd-Cahusac became a licensed electrician, working for many years for Alfa Electric in New York.
As a small child living in Old Greenwich, his sisters often held elaborate funeral services for animals — large and small. Although he didn't have pets of his own, Kenny dearly loved his 9-volt battery, which upon its "death," he lovingly buried it next to Gibbie the rat and other deceased neighborhood wildlife.
As an adult, he took great care to ensure that every electrical connection in his sister's house was always in full operating order.
He was the brother of Lee Cowans of Ontario and Ann Neary (Matt) of Riverside; uncle of Emily Orenstein, Mack Neary, Paige Neary, Anne Klinger and Stewart Cowans; and step-uncle to Matthew, Caitlin and Devon Neary.
He was predeceased by his parents, Canon Sydney Anglin Woodd-Cahusac and Jean E. "Jeffie" Fleming Woodd-Cahusac.
A celebration of his life will be held at Christ Church Greenwich on April 1 at 3 p.m.
"Kenny would have seen the humor in that date," his obituary said. It also marks the beginning of Autism Awareness Month.
"In his memory, treat all of those you meet with the same care and love that Kenny did," his obituary said.
Donations in his memory may be made at AutismSpeaks.org or a charity of one's choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Knapp and Sons of Greenwich.