Jeffrey Donald Kennard

July 26, 1981April 11, 2019

KENNARD, Jeffrey Donald of Centerville, Ohio passed away at his home surrounded by his wife and kids after a short but brave battle with cancer, on Thursday, April 11th, 2019, at the young age of 37. Jeff was the beloved husband of 10 years to Kate, father to Cooper (5) and Christian (2), son of Doug and Christine Taylor, brother to Shari (Mike) Akemon, Brandy Kennard, and Stephen (Jamie) Taylor. He will also be forever remembered by his many nieces, nephews, extended family and dear friends, as the man who never met a stranger, winning the hearts of so, so many. Jeff was born on July 26th 1981 in Centerville, Ohio where he grew up on the fields playing little league baseball and pee wee football. His dedication to team sports set him up well for his professional baseball career that spanned 13 years. Jeff credited his discipline, integrity and respect of the game to his coaches and teammates. As a class of 2000 graduate of Centerville High School, Jeff was an All-State receiver in 1998, 1999, and 2000 as well as represented Ohio in the Big 33 Football Classic. In fact, he still holds seven school records. He was drafted by the New York Yankees in 2000 and spent 13+ years playing professional baseball in the Yankees, Angels, Reds, and Cubs organizations, appearing in Spring Training in all four major league teams. He made two All-Star baseball team appearances and was a part of the New York Yankees 40-man roster in 2007 and 2008, then traded to the Los Angeles Angels and was a part of the Cincinnati Reds Class AAA affiliate, then was picked up by the Chicago Cubs organization. He played independent ball for several years until opening a sports facility of his very own. Jeff dedicated the next phase of his career to coaching and training thousands of young athletes within his community as the Owner of Beyond The Game Sports Training. Together, he and his wife Kate made it their mission to create strong kids, with strong futures, resulting in a strong community. Though his love of the game kept him on the field often, his most important role, was at home, as a husband and father. He loved his wife and their growing young boys. Jeff envisioned a future of taking his family to the beach and the ballpark while having a catch with his boys, for many years to come. We will remember Jeff as the friend who would do anything to lend a hand, the pitching and hitting coach who would stay late to make sure the kids had extra time to practice, the ballplayer who was the first to arrive at the park without fail, and the last one each night signing baseball cards and balls for every little kid after games, making sure no one was left out. Jeff had special talents in doing all of his family's laundry, singing “Don’t Stop Believing” in falsetto, and re-styling the children each day (after his wife had done it) because well...he really loved to match. Jeff’s family and friends will gather for a visitation Monday, April 15, 2019 from 4 to 8 pm at TOBIAS FUNERAL HOME-FAR HILLS CHAPEL, 5471 Far Hills Ave. at Rahn Rd. Dayton, OH 45429. Funeral service for Jeff will take place at 1 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Southbrook Christian Church, 9095 Washington Church Road Miamisburg, Ohio 45342. By the way, feel free to ditch the black and wear something bright, to truly celebrate our Jeff. Flowers, while beautiful, would be even better served as donations to Cooper and Christian’s college funds so that they may have every opportunity to follow their dreams. Online condolences may be sent to


  • Visitation Monday, April 15, 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Jeffrey Donald Kennard

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Sara Wical

April 17, 2019

My boys Chase and Logan have been going to Beyond the Game for the last three years. They had one on one training with Jeff the last two years. Not only did their pitching skills greatly improve but also their attitude and motivation to try harder greatly improved as well through his coaching. He was a wonderful role model for all the kids he has worked with. He will be greatly missed.

Dale, Lisa, & Caleb Tomblin

April 16, 2019

Our son, Caleb, had his first ever hitting instruction from Jeff at Extra Innings. From there he continued to work with Caleb on pitching in several one-on-one clinics. We did a lot of hitting work in the cages at BTG. When Caleb came downstairs to tell us the news we were extremely saddened. Everything in the house went quiet. It was an honor for us to have known Jeff and had the opportunity to work with him. Our prayers are with the family. Prayer for peace and comfort. God bless you all.

Lorrie Prough

April 15, 2019

I wanted to offer my deepest sympathies to the Kennard and Yanko families. I did not have the honor of meeting Jeff but I feel as if I knew him through the caring words that I’ve read from his family and friends. May your memories offer you comfort during this time. God bless you Katie .. Love from Iowa.. your cousin Lorrie 💕

Dee Blunt

April 15, 2019

Kate, Cooper, Christian & Family:
We’re so very sorry for the loss of Jeff. Jeff was such an awesome instructor, coach, and friend to our son Dawson. He will be deeply truly missed by everyone. He was such an inspiration, as well as you. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
The Blunt’s

Josh White

April 14, 2019

Jeff was an exceptional person, husband, father, athlete, businessman. His athletic abilities were legendary when we attended Centerville High School. At Kate and Jeff's wedding it was so obvious that day how happy they were together. Later on, Jeff and his business helped my nephew develop into the ball player he is today. I wish I could have had the opportunity to know Jeff better personally. Nevertheless, his life and his accomplishments are inspiring. As is the way in which he and his family faced his illness over these months. His loss is felt deeply to so many. Myself and my family continue to think of you all often. Wishing Jeff peace and comfort to Kate and her family.
Josh, Karen, and Charlotte White

Melanie & David Behm

April 14, 2019

Our thoughts and prayers to Kate and family-Melanie & David Behm

Jason Miller

April 12, 2019

I met Jeff as he helped my son learn how to play baseball at a higher level. He had great compassion for helping him be the best he could be. He had such a positive loving spirit and smiled the whole time he helped him. What a great man he was and I’ll miss having the chance to have the occasional visit with him.

Chris Clinefelter

April 12, 2019

Jeff was always polite and helpful to my family. He always let us stay as long as we wanted at Extra Innings. He knew what was important.

Mostly, I know his brother Steve. No doubt that they learned together about being selfless and putting others first. I know if I built a field in the middle of Iowa Jeff would walk through the corn and be ready to play. Prayers for the whole family.

Buddy Rogers

April 12, 2019

You were part of our big baseball family and I appreciate the time you took working with my boys. We'll always remember you and your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Joshua Haught

April 12, 2019

I wish I had a memory. When we did see each other we knew we were family. I guess that always seemed to be enough. I knew you and kept up with what you were doing through other family and conversations, just like I do with most family. But I never reached out. I was always a big fan and followed you through sports and even kept safe a few playing cards I was able to get my hands on. But did I really know you?
This whole thing has created a fear within me. I lack of understanding how something can happen so suddenly. We should have know each other better than what we did. This was not enought time.
Farewell my friend. May you rest in peace and watch over those boys.