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Michael Joseph Patrick Kenny

September 12, 2011

Michael Joseph Patrick Kenny
PAWTUCKET - Michael Joseph Patrick Kenny, of Pawtucket died September 10, 2011.
Mr. Kenny was the husband of Helen (Motyl) Cusick-Kenny and the late Catherine (Gunning) Kenny.
Mr. Kenny was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of the late Michael J. Kenny and Mary (Brennan) Kenny. He was a teacher and principal in the Pawtucket School system for many years.
For many years Mr. Kenny was instrumental in developing educational, recreational, and religious programs at local, state, and national levels. As a science teacher at Tolman High School in Pawtucket where he taught biology, physics, and chemistry, he organized the first adult educational program in Space Education entitled, "Mankind And Space, sponsored jointly by the R.I. State Department of Education and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This national endeavor, following the launch of the Russian Spudnik, was designed to educate the public on the significance and ramifications of missals in space. Mr. Kenny also taught science classes at Catholic Teachers College during this era.
In 1964 he was appointed as a school administrator and during the next twenty years of service he co-founded the Pawtucket Public School Administrators as a bargaining unit and served as its second president. In 1980 he helped organize the states elementary and secondary school principals into the R.I. Association of School Principals and served as president from 1980-1981. After retirement in 1964 as principal of the Jenks School he also served as president of the R.I. Association of Retired Secondary School Principals.
Mr. Kenny was an avid tennis player. He coached the Tolman Tennis Team for four years and during the tennis boom of the early seventies he helped organize the first Pawtucket Tennis Tournament in 1973. The following year he aided in the formation of the Pawtucket Tennis League and served with other players as a director for 25 years. In 2001 the newly renovated courts at Slater Park were named the Mike Kenny Tennis Courts in his honor by the City of Pawtucket.
His varied sport interests included work with the Recreation Department in the late fifties as swim and safety director at Dunnell's Pond, track coach in the City's school system, and basketball coach of the St. Teresa's School team in its formative years. Mr. Kenny was also president of the Holy Name Society in St. Teresa's Parish, served on the organizational committee for the Parish Council, and later became its president. he contributed to the writing of the Parish history in both the fiftieth and seventy fifth year book editions. His most recent activity was spent as a member of the Planning Committee involved in the restoration and renovation of St. Teresa's Church.
Mr. Kenny was a veteran of World War II having served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. During the years of his teaching career that followed, he participated in National Science Teacher Programs at both Worcester Polytechnic and Yale University.
Besides his wife Mr. Kenny leaves his children, Michael J. Kenny of Matunick, Kevin P. Kenny of Pawtucket, Frances Kenny of Springfield Ma, and Marion E. Ferguson of Virginia Beach Va. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Michael T. Kenny, Kerrin Kenny, Nicholas Kenny, and Shannon Ferguson.
The funeral for Mr. Kenny will be Wednesday, September 14, at 9:00 a.m. from the MANNING-HEFFERN FUNERAL HOME, 68 Broadway, Pawtucket. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Teresa's Church, 358 Newport Avenue, Pawtucket at 10:00 a.m. His burial will be with full Military Honors in Mt. St. Mary's Cemetery. The calling hours for Mr. Kenny will be Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. in the funeral home. Relatives and friends are invited. for online condolences please visit


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