Obituary of June Kennedy
June Oliva Kennedy, 90, of Basking Ridge, NJ, died on Wednesday, November 14 at Morristown Memorial Hospital after a short illness due to complications from Alzheimers Disease.
Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Church of St. James, 184 S. Finley Ave, Basking Ridge, with a viewing at the church at 10:00 am and Mass at 11:00 am, followed by interment at Holy Cross Cemetery, 145 Mt. Airy Road, Basking Ridge.
Born in Garfield, NJ on June 28, 1928, the third of four children, June Kennedy was a lifelong resident of New Jersey. She was proud of her Italian roots: both of her parents were born in Sicily and, as a first generation American, she was very patriotic. She received her Associates Degree in Journalism from Fairleigh Dickinson University (when it was a junior college) and a B.A. in Humanities from Thomas Edison State College.
As a young reporter for the Bergen Record, she met and interviewed Robert Bryan Kennedy after an American Legion meeting (to which she was denied entrance). He asked her on a date, and they married in 1949. They had two daughters, Meg Kennedy (Jon Pastor) of Philadelphia and Mary Troianello (Ed) of Warren; and four grandsons: Richard Pastor and Bryan, Adam, and Kyle Troianello. The love of her life died in September after 69 years of marriage and she joined him two and a half months later.
The family lived in River Edge until 1961 when Bob, an AT&T employee, was transferred to Bell Labs in Holmdel. They moved to Little Silver, where June became very interested in the history of the area. As town historian, she published a newsletter, established a local history museum, and published A Sketchbook of Little Silver History (1972), which is used in the schools when they study New Jersey history.
In 1975, Bob was transferred to the new AT&T corporate headquarters and the family relocated to Basking Ridge where June became active with the township historical society and was named the first Bernards Township Historian in 1990. In this role, she delighted in researching the rich historical heritage of the area; speaking to groups that ranged from the Boy Scouts to the Daughters of the American Revolution; leading walking tours through the town; running history camp at the Brick Academy; naming more than two dozen streets in the township; setting up thematic displays for municipal events; and helping to organize activities for the celebration of the township’s 250th anniversary. She retired in 1990, after twenty years as Township Historian. In 1995, she wrote A History of the Library in Basking Ridge and Around and About Basking Ridge, Liberty Corner, and Lyons. Over the years she authored numerous articles for other publications. June won the Millicent Fenwick Civic Award in 2006, the Spirit of Somerset Prize in 2001, and was named one of the Outstanding Women in Somerset County in 1998.
In addition to this work, June was very active as a parishioner of the Church of St. James, member of the Rosary Society, and on the board of The Bonafides, a local charitable organization. Her unstoppable creative energy, curiosity, and interest in all things historical and Italian, and her loyal love and support of family and friends will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bernards Township Historical Society, The Bonafides, or the Church of St. James.