Joseph E. Kenney

PETERSHAM — Joseph “Joe” Edmund Kenney, age 66 of Petersham, passed away Aug. 4, 2017, quietly at home with his family.

He was born in Ware on May 5, 1951, the son of the late George T. Kenney and the late Joan (Keating) Kenney.

Joe lived in Petersham all his life. He attended Mount Wachusett Community College, receiving an Associate of Science Degree in 1971. He then went on to Fitchburg State College where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services in 1974 and completed his education with a Master’s Degree in Education with concentration on Special Education in 1993. He received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Fitchburg in 1993 for his years of teaching special education and implementing special needs programs in the middle school system. He also received the Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Assistant Coaches Award in 2011 for service to youth and the game of football.

He was a Teacher of Special Education at Mahar Regional High School from 1974 – 2008. He coached Petersham Little League for many years in the late 70s and 80s; at Mahar he was a Middle School Football coach in 1982, Assistant Varsity Football Coach from 1983 – 2011; Golfing Coach from 2001 – 2002 and the Tennis Coach in 1988. Joe was on the Board of Directors for the Petersham Country Club and a member of the Petersham Lions Club.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Linda S. (Perkins) Kenney; two sisters, Mary Kenney of Petersham, and Bernadette M. Kenney and her husband Larry Slaughter of Williamsburg, Va.; one brother, Michael J. Kenney and his wife Bonnie Stagg of Italy, N.Y.; two stepsons: Steven “Beaver” Barnes Jr. and his wife Lori of Orange, and Chris Barnes and his wife Susan of Petersham; four step-grandchildren, Steve Barnes, Allie Barnes, Charlie Barnes and Will Barnes; good friends and coaching colleagues Jim Woodard and Jamie Paluk.

He was predeceased by his parents and his brother Peter John Kenney.

Special thanks are extended to Stephen Martin, MD and the Gardner Visiting Nurses Association staff for their years of support and care.

Funeral services will be private.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Mahar Senators Booster’s Club, c/o Larry Fisher, 100 Winter St., Orange, MA 01364.

To leave an online condolence, please visit

Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Rd., Orange, is directing arrangements.


We are so very sorry to hear of Joe's death.  we know he has been very ill.  He sure was a lot of fun and a pleasure to talk to and be involved with concerning football.  He was a great mentor to our daughter Erin and a grat mentor and coach to our sons Andy and Nick.  We lost our daughter Erin in January, so I'm sure she is there with him.  This certainly is a huge loss for everyone.  Linda, if you ever need anything you know you can always count on Walter and I.  You take care of your self!  This must be so hard.  We are so very sorry.Waler and Ingrid

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