Obituaries » Kevin Kenneth Kearney
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February 22, 1954 - December 10, 2018
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My Dad, Kevin Kenneth Kearney, of Old Forge, passed away peacefully Monday, Dec. 10. Due to his amazing strength, will and determination, against all odds he eluded a 2011 Stage IV cancer diagnosis for nearly eight years. Now in God’s hands, he’d have it no other way. He was 64 years old.
His wife and my Mom, Jemille Hazzouri Kearney, was beyond his caregiver, but his best friend and the love of his life. They would have been married 40 years on May 11.
Born on Feb. 22, 1954, raised in the Rendham section of Old Forge, he was the son of the late Thomas P. and Janice M. Boyd Kearney. He went to Riverside Junior High School, then to Scranton Preparatory School, class of 1972, before attending Penn State University.
He was a 1975 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science, Syracuse, N.Y., before returning home. Under his father, he completed his internship with the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., before earning his Pennsylvania State Funeral Director’s License in 1976. In 1979, the father-son team purchased the former Durkan-Cuff-Kearney Funeral Home in the Hyde Park section of West Scranton, where my Dad would eventually live for 20 years. He also began the Kearney Monument Company before his father’s passing.
He set out to be the best at his craft, and by the time he handed the business’ reigns over to me in 2012, he was widely regarded by all of his funeral director colleagues as such. Chances are he served you or your family over the course of his 40-year career and upon meeting my Dad, you instantly knew through his kindness, compassion and infectious smile, he had your best interest at heart. Beyond his tireless work ethic was his genuine spirit. Dedicated to his profession, he was a longtime member of the Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania State and National Funeral Directors associations.
My Dad was humble and not one to boast so I’ll now do it for him. He was very active within the community, serving on countless boards and associations and devoting time to numerous causes. He was a member and treasurer of the former West Scranton Business and Professional Association. He served on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Scranton, receiving the Outstanding Community Service Award in 1985. He was also a former member of the American Red Cross Board of Directors.
He was a member and past president of the Moosic Lions Club and served on the Board of Directors for the Moosic Youth Center. He is a third degree member of the JFK Council of the Knights of Columbus, a member of the Irish American Men’s Association and the president of the Downtown Senior Citizens Club, prior to its closing. A former member of the executive committee of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, he also held board positions at both the former Taylor Nursing Home and LA Bank (now NBT).
Throughout his entire life – especially through sickness – my Dad held great faith in God. For nearly 40 years he was a member of St. Patrick’s Church in West Scranton where within its parish, he found an extended family while forging lifelong friendships. He served as the church’s Holy Name Society president for seven years and was a member of the Diocese’s Council of Holy Names. If there was a church event, he was involved from church bingo to church picnics. He was a member of the church’s former Booster Association and served as the chairman of the parish Pro Life Association. He was a wizard with the church collection basket and he also headed the team of church’s collectors for decades. He was rewarded for his service to the church by receiving the last rites seven times by three separate St. Patrick’s pastors.
A man of simple pleasures, he enjoyed storytelling, riding his tractor, plowing snow, Perkins with Uncle A.J., hanging out at Albrecht’s, TV in the man cave and the Madeira Beach, Fla. Gulf Shore and many others but none more than being with “the little guy,” his grandson. He was never seen without a smile and he would make it a point of engaging anyone and everyone he crossed paths with. Led by strong morals, values and character, he was the epitome of a good man and I am proud to have called him my Dad.
Along with Mom, also surviving is his only son, Kevin P. Kearney and wife, Natalie; his grandson who adored his “Pop,” Greyson Kearney; his sister, Shawna Kearney and husband, Bill Kelly; his brother-in-law, A.J. Hazzouri; his sister-in-law, Paulette Hazzouri and husband, Patrick McElroy; his aunt, Eleanor Peron; and countless family and friends he loved so much.
He was also preceded in death by his brother, Thomas P. Kearney Jr.
I would be remiss if I neglected to thank the thousands of families who placed their trust in him throughout his career. Your continued loyalty and friendship meant everything to him. He had amazing caregivers looking after him, from Drs. Rodrigo Erlich who saved his life and Kishori Veerabhadrappa who treated him and his family like her own, to an amazing amount of family and friends. My family will forever be grateful.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Church, 1403 Jackson St., West Scranton, to be celebrated by Monsignor David L. Tressler. Private entombment will be in the family mausoleum, Cathedral Cemetery, West Scranton.
Family and friends are welcome to pay their respects on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the church with an evening blessing at 7 p.m. by Rev. Richard Fox, pastor.
My Dad asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made in his name to either St. Patrick’s Food Pantry, c/o 1401 Jackson St., Scranton, PA 18504; or to the Children’s Advocacy Center, c/o Mary Ann LaPorta, 1710 Mulberry St., Scranton, PA 18510.
Arrangements are under the care of the businesses he stood proud of and nurtured for more than four decades, Kearney Funeral Homes Inc., 125 N. Main Ave. in West Scranton and the Thomas P. Kearney Funeral Home, Inc., 517 N. Main St. in Old Forge.
“Love ya, dude!”