The town celebrated his life on Sunday with a funeral procession. Jacob Henry is a captain at the department and worked under Trentham.
“It hurt everybody, yesterday, the way I can describe it is when we came here it looked like a parade. It made me cry,” Henry said. “The little town all came together and everybody was standing out beside the road just waiting as we came by here.”
Henry was also part of the team that responded to the call for the wreck that took Trentham’s life.
“It really hurt the first responders as we all answered the call as it happened here in Parrottsville,” he said. “It was one of those cold chill moments when we walked up and everybody knew who he was but everybody did their job as best as we could, and afterwards it kind of took a toll on everybody but it really hurt us as we all responded to the call.”
Trentham’s legacy will carry on at the department in more ways than one. Henry said Trentham was responsible for a major equipment upgrade at the station.
“This truck, it’s 2015, we’ve got two other new trucks but it was one of the very first trucks we were eligible to get through the grant,” he explained. “Kenny worked very hard to get that truck. It’s the biggest truck in the county with 3000 gallons of water so a lot of people still ask for that truck now, and the whole community, Cocke County, is very grateful to have what he’s done with this truck so it helps out with a lot of fires.”
Outside of the fire department, Trentham made an impact on the kids in Cocke County working as bus driver for nearly 50 years.
“The generations and generations of kids that he made an impact on in their lives is unreal. I mean the kids that were standing on the highway out here when we came up for his funeral procession,” Henry said. “He lived a long legacy and there will be a lot of people to remember him.”
Trentham and his family also owned and operated Trentham Supermarket for many years. According to Henry, before the department had a radio system, Parrottsville VFD received 911 calls at the supermarket. Trentham would answer the calls, then round up the firefighters to respond.