Obituary for Thomas H. Kenney
Thomas Kenney has been reunited with his beloved wife and soulmate, Marie. He passed away on Tuesday, March 14 at home in Wanamassa at the age of 80.
Born and raised in Bridgeport, CT, Tom graduated Warren Harding High School in 1955 and later continued his education at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts.
In 1956, Tom decided to join the Signals School Radar Repair and did two months of basic training at Fort Dix in NJ. He was then sent to Fort Monmouth in Eatontown, where he met his one and only love, Marie Candiano. Tom was transferred to the 64th Signal Detachment at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro, CA and there they married in June, 1957.
The young couple settled in Wanamassa, NJ, where they remained for their entire lives, raising three daughters.
Tom had a long career in advertising, beginning at Ambrose & Borrie in Asbury Park and then opening his own business, Barnes & Kenney Advertising Agency in 1973. He retired in 2000 and devoted much of his time to his passions: gardening, cooking and his grandchildren.
Together, Tom and Marie enjoyed dancing, bowling, playing cards, watching football, cooking, eating, having holidays at their house, hosting their daughters’ friends and especially being doting and generous grandparents!
‘Pop’ was a loving, natural grandfather, just as he had been a father to his own daughters - changing diapers, giving baths, humming and pacing to soothe tears. His life was defined by his love of family.
In addition, he had an amazing writing ability and could put every emotion into beautiful heartfelt words on paper - we often joked that he should work for Hallmark. Everyone who knew Pop, knew that he had an eye for detail, whether it showed in his paintings, his advertising work or in his careful sculpting of a bush.
There are so many memories that will last in his daughters’ hearts forever, not the least of which are Easter egg hunts in the backyard, stories from his childhood, documenting every home improvement, saving receipts, beautiful piano-playing by ear (he never had a lesson!), rooting plants to give away, helping with school projects/posters and always making them look professional, being the ultimate domestic DIYer (painter, plumber, contractor, mechanic), his Mako boat, fishing, Thanksgiving at Uncle Joe’s (and a huge breakfast the following day), driving to Fl, his Lincoln Town Car, grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, our Schnauzer, Eve….
They welcomed everyone into their home with hugs and food and for all of the love and stability which was our lives, we are grateful.
We love you so much, Pop, and are comforted because we know that you and Nana are together for eternity in heaven now. We hope that you can finally fly to Ireland without fear and soak in the landscape. We will share the lessons that you taught us and the love that you gave us with each other and your grandchildren. We will live our lives to honor you and Nana and vow to be loving parents and good citizens, making a positive impact on the world in your legacy. With tear-filled eyes, we thank you, thank you, thank you, our beloved Pop.
In addition to Marie’s passing in 2015, Tom was predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Barbara Kenney and his brothers, Joe, Bob and Larry. He is survived by his sister, Sue Monck (and Richard) of Prospect, CT, his three daughters, Teresa and Michael Gilbertson of Wanamassa, Kathleen and Thomas Giglio of Oakhurst and Christina and Craig Bass of Westfield. He will be forever missed by his six adoring grandchildren; Dana Gilbertson, Jack Giglio and Ryan, Cami, Hannah and Patrick Bass.
Visitation will be held on March 18, Saturday, from 3-6pm at Fiore Funeral Home, 236 Monmouth Rd., Oakhurst. In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Heart Association would be greatly appreciated. www.heart.org