Christopher J. Kennedy, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, died on December 18, 2020, in Frederick, Maryland at the age of 80, from complications related to progressive supranuclear palsy. Chris is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary H. Kennedy, of Gaithersburg, MD, his sister, Eileen Gilmartin, of Bloomfield Hills, MI, his four children, Christopher M. Kennedy (Lisa Sanders) of Libertyville, IL, Michael O. Kennedy (Jody Edwards), of Rivervale, NJ, Patricia A. Kennedy of Beaverton, OR, and Susan E. Nusraty (Nas Nusraty) of New Market, MD, and his ten grandchildren: Conor, Shea, Eleanor, Leo, Molly, Emma, Liam, Devin, Rowan and Gavin. He is preceded in death by his sister Mary A. (“Marie”) Dowling, of East Northport, NY. Chris was born on August 9, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to Patrick Leo Kennedy of Co. Armagh, No. Ireland, and Mary O’Donnell of Co. Kerry, Ireland. He graduated from St. Helena’s High School (now Monsignor Scanlan) in 1958 and went on to earn a B.A. in Government from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a M.A. in Urban Affairs from Hunter College, City University of New York. While in high school, his older sister Mary A. Kennedy introduced him to a younger classmate who happened to also be named Mary H. Kennedy. Chris and Mary H. Kennedy married on January 23, 1965 and lived in the Bronx until moving to Sugar Loaf, NY in 1972. They later moved to Libertyville, IL in 1989, then to Gaithersburg, MD in 1997. Chris was a veteran of the U.S. Army and worked for the New York City Sanitation Department for 20 years. He was awarded a Department Medal of Valor in 1982 for his role in stopping an armed robbery. Chris worked as a substitute teacher in New York City Schools and taught at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Florida, NY. An avid student of history and government, Chris was an effective and principled public servant in many roles. He was elected to three terms as Town Supervisor in Chester, NY. He patiently worked with all parties to transform town finances and build the library, town hall, and the community baseball and tennis park. He also led the Chester Jaycees and was a longtime volunteer firefighter in Sugar Loaf. Chris was proud of his 43 years of sobriety and his contributions to his fellow members of Alcoholics Anonymous over those years in New York, Illinois and Maryland. Everyone who knew Chris loved him. He was a dedicated, loving and joyful father, grandfather and husband. Grandpa Chris’ greatest joy was talking to and being with his grandchildren. Chris always smiled and made everyone around him laugh with a story or wisecrack. As Dad, Uncle Chris, or Grandpa, he embodied kindness, empathy, and generosity—but mostly, unconditional love and support. He would want you to smile when you think of him. A Funeral Mass will be held on Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at 11:00 AM in St. Columba R.C. Church located at 27 High Street, Chester, NY 10918. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY in the Kennedy family plot. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Cure PSP https://www.psp.org/iwanttohelp/ways-to-give/. Funeral Arrangements have been entrusted to Thomas & Brendan Flynn and the Staff of Flynn Funeral & Cremation Memorial Centers, Inc. To offer an online memorial please visit www.flynnfh.com.
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