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William Kennedy

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BENNINGTON -- William Patrick Kennedy died peacefully on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2006. He was born in New York City on Dec. 16, 1909, and had recently celebrated his 97th birthday.

William was the fourth child of recent Irish immigrants Thomas F. Kennedy and Mary Kaylor. He was baptized in St. Cecelia’s Parish on E. 105th Street in New York City. William grew up through hardship but maintained steady work during the Depression as a horse and buggy driver for Charles and Co. delivering fresh meat in New York City. He met his future wife, Elizabeth Ann Hughes, on a blind date at a Charles and Co. picnic. Later that evening he commandeered an idling taxi in order to bring Elizabeth home. They were soon married and moved to 1259 Leland Ave., the Bronx. There they had a son, William P. Kennedy Jr., and a daughter Marianne Kennedy.

William was a resident of Leland Avenue until he relocated to Vermont in 2000 to be closer to his daughter.

William was an electrician’s mate in the Navy during World War II. He served in the Pacific Fleet on the U.S.S. Blackwood, which escorted a destroyer to the battle of Iwo Jima. William worked for the Charles Gachot Meat Co. on West 14th Street in New York until retirement and was a member of the Teamsters Union Local 816 for over 50 years. He was the longest dues paying member of the New Starling Athletic Club in the Bronx, N.Y.

William was known to be an incredibly hard worker and laborer. He exercised daily and loved routine. He brought his family to summer in the Catskills for many years where he loved to swim and drink beer with friends and neighbors. He was known for his sharp humor and charm, his strikingly beautiful blue eyes, and for the “old songs” which he sung in his distant, wavering voice. He is survived by Marianne Kennedy and Shane Sweet, his daughter and son in law of Northfield; his daughter-in-law, Mary Jane Kennedy of Rowayton, Conn.; and his grandson, David Kennedy-Cutler, of Brooklyn, N.Y.

A memorial service for William P. Kennedy will be held on Wednesday Dec. 27, 2006, at 4 p.m. at the Wilburton Inn on River Road in Manchester.

If friends desire, contributions in memory of Mr. William Patrick Kennedy may be made to the Southern Vermont Art Center through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home 628 Main St. Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 26, 2006
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