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Obituary: Peter James Kenny

Peter James Kenny died Oct. 3, 2011, from complications after cardiac arrest. He was the loving husband of Patricia and adoring father of James (Colleen), Patricia Anne Reilly (Timothy), Christine Goettelmann (George) and Kevin (JoAnne). Peter was the proud grandfather to Brigid, Caitlyn, Casey, Sean, Ryann, Megan, Brendan, Brian, Tatum, Kelly, Patrick, Tommy, Teddy and Lilly and the oldest brother of Gerard, Michael, Marianne and the late Bernard.

Born at Glen Cove Hospital and raised in the Glen Head area, he attended St. Boniface Elementary and then St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, graduating in 1959. With history and law degrees, both from St. John’s University, he began his long professional life as a practicing attorney. For the better part of his 37 year career he was a partner at the law firm of Willkie, Farr and Gallagher in NYC. In addition to work at the firm, he was an arbitrator for FINRA (Financial Industry Regulator Authority) and upon retirement was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to act as a board member of The Municipal Water Finance Authority.

Peter continued to practice pro bono law by advising local groups within the community such as rewriting the by-laws for The Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer and incorporating many small businesses. He also acted as director of a volunteer lawyers’ group for the diocese of Rockville Centre giving legal advice to individuals without the means to hire an attorney. Peter was a trustee for the village of Plandome and head of their architectural review board. As a father to his four children he was an avid coach and fan of all their activities. Peter was a member of the Manhasset Booster Club and acted as president for two years.

As the son of a song and dance man who performed in Vaudeville and having four siblings who went on to have musical careers, Peter was raised with music and his true passion was singing. He was a 28-year member of the Saint Mary’s choir, sang with The Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick Glee Club in NYC for more than a decade and most recently rehearsed and performed with the Long Island Harmonizers, a barbershop harmony group.

For anyone interested in making a donation in Peter’s memory, please go to Autism Speaks (autismspeaks.org).