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John M. Kennel, Sr.

Born: 7/21/1921
Died: 4/14/2012

John Miller Kennel, Sr. died on April 14, 2012, surrounded by his loving family at his home in Bear, DE. John was born in Connellsville, PA on July 21, 1921, the oldest son of Ray and Elta Miller Kennel. He was raised in Scottdale, PA and attended Scottdale HS.

Known as “Jack” to his relatives and friends, he joined the Army in December 1942 and fought in World War II. He was a corporal in the 35th Infantry Division under the command of General George Patton. During his service he was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, was awarded the Purple Heart, and received a medical discharge in July 1945.

On his return from the war, Jack took advantage of the GI Bill to attended Grove City College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Business, and Bucknell University where he received a master’s degree in Commerce & Finance. Upon completing his education, he taught at Greensburg HS and in 1948 met Mary Stewart, a fellow English teacher at nearby Waynesburg HS. They married in Waynesburg, PA in 1951, teaching school together and traveling during summer breaks. Their first child was born in January of 1954 and they raised 8 children in their home in Brookside, Newark, DE.

John, as he later became known, joined the DuPont Company in 1954 as an accountant in Wilmington, DE. His career at DuPont spanned 28 years before his retirement in 1982.

John’s community involvement was family and church-oriented, and he served in many capacities including: Cub Scout Leader, Finance Chair of St John’s – Holy Angels, VP of the Brookside Community Association, and Chair of the Community Pool. John was a life member of the Knights of Columbus, an usher at Holy Family Church, and a member of the Elks Lodge 777 in Scottdale, PA. He was a member of the American Legion and the DAV.

John enjoyed the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, and the beach, and he shared these joys with his children and grandchildren. He loved to eat and cooked many a meal for his family and friends, including his famous breakfasts, barbecued chicken, “Hunters Stew,” and “BTLs.” In retirement, John enjoyed traveling with his wife and family, touring the United States, Europe, Israel, Mexico, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Russia. He earned both Master Gardener and Composter certificates from UD, and taught classes there on these subjects. John took great care of his health and was always active, as witnessed by his more than 90 years of productive and memorable life.

John is preceded in death by his parents, his only sibling, brother, Ray Kennel, Jr., and his devoted wife of nearly 51 years, Mary. He is survived by his 8 children: Kay Kennel of Wilmington, John Kennel, Jr. of Wilmington, Anne Costello of Bear, Susan Toomey of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Mark Kennel of Newark, Mary Jo Russell of Wilmington, Jane Paulson of Newark, and Patricia Morgan of North East, MD. He leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held from 5 pm to 7 pm this Wednesday, April 18th, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 W. Park Place, Newark. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 am on Thursday, April 19th, at Holy Family R.C. Church, E. Chestnut Hill and Gender Roads, Newark. Interment will follow in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington. A fellowship gathering will be held at Holy Family Church after interment.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of John may be made to Holy Family R.C. Church, 15 Gender Road, Newark, DE 19713.

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