Longtime Burien Doctor John Kennelly Passes Away, Memorial Is Sunday

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Longtime Burien resident John McRae Kennelly, Jr., M.D., passed away at the age of 86 on Aug. 29th, and a memorial for him will be held at 2pm this Sunday, Sept. 12th at the Rainier Golf and Country Club, located at 11133 Des Moines Memorial Drive South.

Dr. Kennelly not only served as a urologist in Burien for years, he was also a founding member of the Burien City Council.

He also served on the board of the Highline Medical Center Foundation, and was very involved in the growth and development of the hospital.

Here’s an obituary the family sent us:

John McRae KENNELLY, Jr., MD
John McRae Kennelly, Jr. M.D. was born to John and Clara Kennelly in Delta, Utah on April 10, 1924 and died at the age of 86 on August 29, 2010. John had a long, happy, active and interesting life and he enjoyed most of it. He would claim that his highest achievement was his 63-year happy marriage to his wife, Alberta and his love and enjoyment of his three children and nine grandchildren.

With his parents and two sisters, Jean and Patty, Dad moved to Hillsboro, Oregon in 1932 and his parents began chicken farming and growing renowned Marion berries. As a youth, he was a Boy Scout and became an Eagle Scout. Dad graduated from Hillsboro High in 1941 and attended college at Pacific University and Oregon State University prior to joining the Navy under the V-12 program. John continued his service with the Navy for many years. He was active in the Naval Reserves, retiring at the rank of Commander.

He graduated from Willamette University and received his medical degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 1947. He completed a residency in urology and was a urologist for the remainder of his professional life. John and Alberta married in December 1947 and eventually moved to Seattle where Dad became a member of the faculty at the UW Medical School in the Department of Urology. He remained on the UW faculty for many years and in 1956 began a urology practice at Highline Medical Center in Burien, Washington. He remained active at Highline Medical Center until the last few months of his life and was involved in the growth and development of the hospital.

Dad was a very active and involved citizen in both the medical and political world. He enjoyed serving as the president of the King County Medical Society from 1975 to 1976 and as president of the Western Section of the American Urological society from 1985 to 1986. He was elected as a council member of the newly formed Burien City Council and served several years in this position. From 1982 to 2007 he served as a Board Member of Highline Medical Center and served as Board chair from 1990 to 1992; he was a Foundation Board member of Highline Hospital from 1982 to 2010 and became an Alumni Board member in May 2010. As a member of the Foundation board, he played an active role in the capital campaign for the Cancer Center and Emergency room at Highline Medical Center.

Dad was also an avid golfer and enjoyed the golf and fellowship at the Rainier Golf and Country Club for many years. He was an excellent bridge player and more than anything enjoyed a good meal with his family and friends.

Dad’s most lasting and meaningful legacy is his family and the love and support and welcoming attitude that he always shared with his family and friends. In addition to his wife Alberta, he is survived by his daughter Kathleen (Steve Silver), son Michael (Sue Hott), daughter Maureen (Don DeWeese) and his nine grandchildren – Megan and Elizabeth Bokan, Joe Kennelly, Lisa, Ian, Miriam and Jacob Kennelly and Elena and Mariah DeWeese. He is also survived by his sisters and brothers-in-law Jean and Dick Spees of Oakland, California and Patty and Tom McClintock of Corvallis, Oregon and many nieces and nephews. More than anything else, Dad loved and enjoyed his family and was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. We will dearly miss him.

A celebration of his life will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, September 12 at the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, Washington. Donations in his remembrance can be made to either Highline Medical Center or the N.W. Kidney Center.

If you have any memories or want to share your thoughts on Dr. Kennelly, we encourage you to leave a Comment below:

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