William F. Kenny, 88, of Canonsburg, died Thursday, May 16, 2019 in UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh. His wife, Ruth, daughter Susan and son Mark were by his bedside when he passed to his eternal home in heaven to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
He was born April 25, 1931 in Pittsburgh, a son of Ray and Ruth Watt Kenny. The youngest of three sons, Bill grew up on the family farm where his incredible work ethic was established working the fields and livestock.
After attending school in a one room schoolhouse until the 8th grade, he enrolled at East Washington High School, starring on the football team. He played in the Southwestern PA All Star Game in his senior year at Forbes Field.
Bill accepted a football scholarship to Washington and Jefferson earning letters in all four years playing both offensive and defensive line. There he met the love of his life, the former Ruth Dorchak on Canonsburg PA, on New Year’s Eve. He graduated in 1952.
During high school and college, Bill always had a job. He worked for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad repairing tracks and in the steel mill in Monongahela. After W&J, with Ruth and the joy of his life, baby daughter Susan, he set out for Ohio where he coached football and taught in the Oberlin and Dover School Districts in Ohio, serving as the youngest head coach in the conference. There he coached Jim Render as a quarterback. Jim was later the legendary PA Hall of Fame Coach at Upper Saint Clair. Bill met up with Jim again and became a fan of the USC Panthers in the last few years after moving back to Canonsburg.
Bill had a long career in the insurance business. He was President of Home Ownership Warranty Co. and worked at another warranty company PWC. He was a long time executive at Nationwide Insurance serving in manager’s roles across Ohio working in the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus areas. Bill was Vice President of Minister’s Life and MSI Insurance in Minnesota. Bill’s professional strengths were leadership and strategy.
Loving children of all ages, he also enjoyed a stint as a substitute school teacher.
Bill enjoyed reading (often 4-5 books simultaneously), camping, hunting, fishing, traveling and sports. He backpacked across the Rockies, hunted deer, bear, moose, small game and waterfowl and was an avid fisherman from mountain streams, to the Great Lakes and to the deep sea fishing grounds of the Atlantic Ocean. Spending most of his work career in Ohio, where he started as a high school football coach, he was a fan of the Browns, Bengals, Red and Indians but returned to his Steelers, Pens and Pirates roots when he came back to Canonsburg in retirement.
Bill and Ruth’s passion was travel, exploring across the US and overseas to Israel, Russia, China, Canada and Europe. He also planned and pulled off amazing summer vacations including to the Rockies, Florida, and New England. The trip were fun but always educational, focusing on history, especially Civil War battlefields.
Bill was a committed Christian as well as an avid patriotic who loved his country intensely and especially the US Navy where his son Mark, and grandson Billy, both attended the Navy Academy in Annapolis. Billy currently serves as Combat Systems Officer on the USS GRIDLEY (DDG 101) in Everett Washington. Mark served a career in the submarine force. Bill’s fondest Navy memories where seeing his grandson Billy receive his Naval Academy diploma in 2010 and riding across the Pacific Ocean twice from Pearl Harbor to San Diego onboard the submarine USS BIRMINGHAM (SSN 695) when Mark was in command.
Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Ruth Dorchak Kenny; daughter, Susan Kenny of Indianapolis where she is a Health Care Analyst; son, Mark Kenny (Cheryl, owner/broker of Golden Realitors) of Manassas, VA; two grandchildren, Sarah Kenny Donohoe (Nathan) of Beverly Hills CA, where Sarah has a career in the entertainment industry and Nathan has his own Accounting Firm, and Lieutenant Billy Goodyear (Jennifer) of Everett WA where Billy continues his Naval career and Jennifer serves as Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve while finishing her studies to be a Dietitian.
Two brothers are deceased, Robert and Paul Kenny.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life for Bill will be held at the Oak Spring Cemetery Chapel on Thursday 23 May at 11:00 a.m. McIlvaine-Speakman Funeral Home Ltd., Robert K. McIlvaine, Supervisor/Owner, 27 Cherry Ave., Houston, PA 15342 has been entrusted with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contribution to the Billy Graham Evangelical Association