Joseph Kilhenny died on Jan. 10, 2007 at Glen Cove Hospital following a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Manhattan, the oldest of eight children, on July 16, 1923 to Joseph Kilhenny and Josephine O'Hara Kilhenny. His family moved to Floral Park where Joe started grammar school, working a paper route to earn extra money.
Later his family moved back to Manhattan where Joe graduated from Power Memorial High School and enrolled at Pace College. Like many young men of his generation, Joe's studies were interrupted by WWII. He served with General Patton's army in Normandy, Belgium and Germany before returning to New York to study business administration at Syracuse University. He was married to Anne Hanley, from Sunnyside, Queens, in 1947, by Anne's brother, Fr. Richard Hanley, who went on to join the Rockville Center Diocese of the Catholic Church and establish The Long Island Catholic. Joe and Anne had three children, Carol, Richard Patrick, and Karen and the family moved to Manhasset in 1962 where they became active members of St. Mary's Parish.
Joe found his true calling when he joined State Farm Insurance Company in 1956, when State Farm began operating in New York. As one of their first agents on Long Island, he opened his agency in Jamaica and later moved to Westbury. He quickly rose to be one of State Farm's most successful agents, regularly winning awards at State Farm's national conventions. Joe used to get up at 5 a.m. to meet with postmen and milkmen to promote State Farm auto and home insurance. He had taken a big risk leaving management to move to State Farm, and worked morning, noon and night to build the business. His flair for people made this the job he loved for the rest of his long career.
Joe was a generous mentor to many of his colleagues as they began their career with State Farm. He encouraged many of his staff to study to pass their New York State insurance exams and join State Farm. There are now numerous alumni of the Westbury office who now work for State Farm around the Northeast, including Joe's daughter, Karen Kilhenny Fracchia, Kevin Morrissey, Diane Lynch-McGrath, Debby Valentine and Ed Borenstein, currently State Farm's Nassau Agency Director.
Joe and Anne were active members of Strathmore Vanderbilt Country Club for over 30 years, where they played tennis and their children swam in the summer programs. Later they moved to Glen Cove and joined St. Patrick's Parish where Joe was a lector. They spent winters in Florida, took up golf and traveled frequently in the US, England and Ireland to visit family and friends. Joe regularly returned to Manhasset each Memorial Day to march with his many friends in The American Legion.
Joe is survived by Anne, his wife of 59 years, their three children, Carol Moore of London, England, R. Patrick Kilhenny of Westbury and Karen Fracchia of Pleasant Valley, NY; two sons-in-law, Arthur Moore and Robert Fracchia; and three grandchildren, Frances and Laurence Moore and Adriana Fracchia. He is also survived by his sister Catherine Conroy of Port Washington; his brother Dr. Charles Kilhenny, of New Hampshire; over 25 nieces and nephews and numerous cousins. The funeral was held at St. Mary's Church, Manhasset and interment was at Mount St. Mary's Cemetery.