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James Kenny

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James C. Kenny

1926-2010 SHELBURNE - James Connolly Kenny, 83, died peacefully on Thursday, January 7, 2010, at The Arbors with family present. Jim lived a long and full life before his declining health.

Born July 16, 1926, in Bennington, son of Thomas and Celia Kenny of Old Bennington, his parents were Irish immigrants who chose to live in Vermont because the rolling green hills reminded them of home. Dad was always very proud of his Irish heritage and he made many trips to Ireland to visit his cousins there.

Through mutual friends, Jim met his future wife, Lois Stocker, who was at the time working as a nurse in Cambridge, N.Y., just over the border. Lois being strong and independent was difficult to woe, but Jim pursued to win her over and they were married Nov. 17, 1956. They moved to the Burlington area to raise their quickly expanding family. They were married for fifty years before Lois predeceased him, Feb. 8, 2007.

Jim was a well-respected business and community member. His success in his personal and professional life was due to his strong work and integrity. He was loved and admired by all that knew him.

After graduating from Bennington High School, he served in the Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946 as a crew chief and flight engineer. Jim also served with the Air Force Reserve from 1946-1949.

He attended the postgraduate program at Newman Prep School, Boston, Mass. from 1947-1948. Jim entered Purdue University in 1948. Prior to graduation, he was named "Distinguished Student" and the first Vermonter to receive this honor. Jim received a B.S. from Purdue University, school of Industrial Engineering in January 1954.

He began his career in the wire and cable industry in 1951 when he joined Warren Wire, Pownal, as a manufacturing engineering trainee. He was then hired by Western Electric, Chicago, Ill., as a manufacturing engineer. In November 1955, he joined General Electric Company, Utica, N.Y. and was assigned to product development. In early 1956, he joined the newly formed American Super-Temp Wire and Cable Company in Winooski, as Chief Engineer. There he was instrumental in obtaining the first UL approval for Teflon insulated wire. Jim became Vice President in 1958. In 1963, he joined Hi- Temp Wires, Westbury, Long Island, N.Y., as Director of Operations.

In October of 1965, Jim founded, along with his high school friend, John (Jack) Heaslip, Harbour Industries Inc., in Shelburne. He served as President since its inception. In 1974 the company established Harbour Industries (Canada) LTEE in Farnham, Quebec, Canada and served as Chairman of the Board. He retired as Chairman of Harbour Industries Inc. in 1998.

Jim served as a director of NEMA's Wire and Cable Division. He was a charter member of the New England Wire and Cable Club and Wire Association, the New England Council. He was an active member of the Vermont Business Roundtable. He served the Greater Burlington Chamber of Commerce. For several years, he was the Chairman of the Associate Trustee's and served on the Board of Trustee's at Saint Michael's College in Colchester. Jim was a life member of the Elks Club through the Bennington, Vt. Lodge and enjoyed his memberships at the Burlington Country Club and the Ethan Allen Club for many years.

Jim loved spending time with his family and friends. He loved collecting classic cars and enjoyed dining, traveling and reading. Jim and Lois enjoyed living in Charlotte from 1985 to 2005. In 2005, they moved back to South Burlington to be close to family. Then Jim had a short stay at Shelburne Bay and Burlington Health and Rehab, until he found his final home at the Arbors, in Shelburne, where he found love and comfort not only from his family and friends, but also from the wonderful staff that treated him with dignity and respect. We would especially like to extend sincere gratitude for the love and help of Beth Alpert, a longtime family friend and wonderful caregiver to our beloved father.

He was a sweet and special man. Jim was always quick to agree that he was a good-looking man, with his beautiful thick white hair, bright blue eyes and always a big endearing smile!

He leaves his son, James "Jim" Kenny and his wife, Marie, of Walpole, Mass.; daughter, Ellen Erdmann and her husband, Bruce, of South Burlington; son, Peter Kenny and his wife, Jovita, of South Burlington; daughter, Sara Hunt and her husband, Peter, of Shelburne; eight grandchildren, Elizabeth Kenny, Devin, Joe and Kelly Erdmann, Scott and Patrick Kenny and Hannah and Simon Hunt; sisters, Margaret Kenny and (Brigid) Eileen and Robert Gleason of Scituate, Mass.; brother, John and Mary Anne Kenny of Santa Fe, N.M., and many nieces and nephews, especially John Dunleavy for his weekly visits at The Arbors, accompanying our Aunt Margaret.

He was predeceased by his sister, Sheila Dunleavy, and brother-in-law, John Dunleavy, and his younger brother, Thomas Kenny.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 11 a.m. in St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church with burial to follow in Resurrection Park Cemetery where he will be reunited with his true love, Lois.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Charlotte Library, c/o Sherry Simmons, PO Box 120, Charlotte, VT 05445. Visiting hours will on Monday, January 11, 2010, from 5 - 8 p.m. at THE READY FUNERAL & CREMATION SERVICES, SOUTH CHAPEL, 261 Shelburne Rd, Burlington, VT 05401. For directions or to send online condolences please visit www.readyfuneral.com.



Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 11, 2010
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