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In Memory

James Kenny

James Kenny

James Ayers Kenny, 75, of Crystal Lake, was born March 16, 1943 in Pittsburgh, PA to James B. and Virginia M. Kenny.  He passed away peacefully on January 29, 2019 at home in Deer Park, IL.

Jim grew up in Pittsburgh, PA, attending Penn Hills High School, and later graduating from Grove City College.  Having spent his childhood in Pittsburgh, he had tremendous pride being from the area, and developed a deep passion for Pittsburgh sports teams such as the Steelers and Pirates, who he continued to root for throughout his life.

Jim also met his sweetheart, Carol (Wikert) Kenny, while living in Pittsburgh, and they married in 1967.  Last year they proudly celebrated their 50th anniversary surrounded by their loving family.  As a young couple, and during Jim’s time serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force, they lived in both New York, NY and San Antonio, TX.  Following his military service, Jim started a nearly 40 year career with United Airlines, eventually settling with his young family in Crystal Lake, IL in 1973.  He was very active in both community and church, and thoroughly enjoyed watching his sons sporting events, never absent from the stands as a supportive father.

After retiring in 2002, Jim found time to pursue many other passions, including cars and music.  He was an active part of the Miata Club, often touring parts of the country in his convertible, and resurrecting a love of brass instruments by taking up playing the Tuba in the Community Band for many years, and eventually learning to play Piano.  He was fortunate to spend time traveling, with a fondness for Palm Desert, CA, visiting various family members around the country, and wonderful memories from a more recent river cruise through parts of Belgium and France.

Jim is survived by his wife, Carol; his sons Steve (Elizabeth) and Ryan (Laurel); and grandchildren Sarah, Riley, Emily, Harper, and Nolan.  He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many.  His hearty laugh, genuine kindness, quick wit, and care for others, will be forever missed.

A memorial gathering will take place on Wednesday, February 6 from 5pm to 8pm at Davenport Family Funeral Home in Crystal Lake, IL.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Liver Foundation. 


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02/05/19 01:23 PM #1    

Susan Barnhouse (Cooper)

So sorry to hear of Jim's passing.  Although we have been out of touch for many years, I remember him as a good, kind man that I am m a better person for having known.

From an alum of both  Penn Hills and Grove City.

02/05/19 02:33 PM #2    

John Prince

I agree with Susan.  I also knew Jim from high school as well as college (Grove City College); in fact, we got together at our 50th college reunion 3 years ago and later that week at a Pirates game.  I'm so glad we were able to speak at length about 6 months ago.  A good man, indeed!  Condolences to his wife, Carol and family.

02/05/19 04:29 PM #3    

Janet Renschigai (Laus)

So sorry to hear of Jim's passing, and so glad we got to reconnect at the last reunion. We spent many fun years in band and he was a great drum major. Always the ultimate gentleman and friend. My condolences to Carol and his family. 



02/05/19 07:51 PM #4    

Charles Donabedian

Jim Kenny was the kind of person whose abscence from our lives will leave a vacuum.  He was a very kind, straightforward person who never, to my knowledge, ever uttered an unkind word.  We are diminished by his loss.

02/06/19 11:03 AM #5    

John Eckblad

My memories of Jim, his father James, his mother Virginia, and his grandmother "Mrs. Ayres" will never be lost.

Jim called me several days before his passing to share that one of his sons was now living in St, Cloud and his grandchilren were attending the American school in Paris. He was very proud of his children's achievements. One of my strong memories of Jim is that he could always support the achievements of others while not forgetting his own passions; family, music, sports and motor cars.                                                                                                                          

Jim was my best friend throughout elementary and junior high, he was best man at my 1st wedding in 1965 and I had the honor of walking his mother Virginia down the aisle when he and Carol were married, Jim and Carol came to the dockside when we boarded the QE2 for the beginning of my international life.            

As I write this, memories flood in of walking together to and from our school bus stop for many years, the numerous times I ate dinner at the Kenny home, delivering their newspaper, the time my father repaired the Kenny family television set, and both of our family's fascination with Pontiac convertibles.    

I won't miss Jim, he is always with me,                                                    








02/06/19 02:13 PM #6    

William Gaw


Jim was always the gentle giant among a whirlwind of friends. A boyhood buddy you could count on to take a leadership role in a variety of character building activities. His peacefull smile said it all. 

Way too soon. 

02/06/19 04:01 PM #7    

Michael Norris

Jim was one of my oldest and dearest friends. Whether he knew it or not ,he was also my hero. I never knew a more non judgemental person . Just an incredably decent human being.

                                  Mike Norris

02/08/19 01:37 PM #8    

Michael Norris

....and another thing,Jim....say "Hello" to Bob McCoy while you are up there. We never forgot after 9th grade jazz band practice, Mr.McCoy,you on the upright bass ,me on drum.McCoy lettinghhair down playing some of the greatest jazz we ever could hear on the ivory. You could'nt buy lessons like that. Miss you big , Jim



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