Brigadier General (Ret.) James J. Kenney
Hoosick Falls – Brigadier General (Ret.) James Joseph Kenney, 83, of North Hoosick, NY, passed away peacefully Monday morning, July 25, 2011, at his residence with his loving wife at his bedside.
Born in Hoosick Falls, NY, on December 6, 1927, he was the only son of the late James Simon and Frances Mae Maley Kenney. Jim married the love of his life, Leona Jones, on April 16, 1966, in Berlin, NY.
“Skins,” as he was known by his childhood friends, was a lifelong resident of Hoosick Falls. Active in the Boy Scouts of America as a youth, Jim was a man devoted to his family and his country starting at a very young age. At age 15, after a small fib regarding just how old he really was, he joined the New York Guard, starting a military career lasting over 45 years. A 1945 graduate of the former Walter A. Wood Memorial High School, Jim briefly attended Siena College. At age 17, with his father’s assistance, he enlisted in the United States Navy. Rumor has it that it was weeks before his mother spoke to either of them after that. Honorably discharged from the US Navy in 1947, he enlisted as a Private in the National Guard three days later. Working for the State Division of Military and Naval Affairs in the Adjutant General’s Office he rose through the ranks to the level of Colonel. Between 1954 and 1977 he was the Assistant Director of Military Personnel and Administration and State Quartermaster responsible for 90 NYS armories and 11 air bases. He retired in 1977 from the New York Army National Guard and was later honored with a brevet promotion to Brigadier General. Jim then joined the Army Reserve where he was assigned to a selective service unit as its commander.
In addition to his military career, Jim also worked for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation for more than 54 years dating back to 1955 until the State dissolved his position as a Special Game Protector in 2009. Jim’s patrol covered Rensselaer County, but his favorite work detail was patrolling the Tomhannock Reservoir. Jim was a former Assessor for the Town of Hoosick, a member of the NYS Assessors Association, a member and former Board Member of the Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad, and he served on the Town of Hoosick Planning Board for many years. Jim was a member of the BPO Elks, American Legion and National Rifle Association as well as a Life Member of the US National Guard Association. A devout Catholic, Jim was a lifelong communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls.
Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of 45 years, Leona, his children, Stacy L. and husband Michael Flynn of Hoosick Falls, Lt. Col. Kathleen F. Curran of the Army Nurses Corps at Ft. Eustis in Yorktown, VA, and James J. Kenney II and wife Lori of Cambridge, NY. Grandchildren Jonah Slagen, Sarah Flynn, Lane and Riley Curran and Shamus Kenney were the joys of their Poppy’s life.
A Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial was celebrated on Friday, July 29, at 10 am at the Immaculate Conception Church, Main Street, Hoosick Falls. Interment with full military honors is at 1 pm at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, NY. There were no calling hours.
Memorial contributions in Jim’s memory may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation online at www.jdrf.org.
Funeral arrangements are under the guidance of the Thomas M. Barber Funeral Home of Petersburgh, NY.