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Esther (Wells) Kenney

February 27, 1926 ~ March 28, 2017 (age 91)

Esther Wells Kenney, 91, of Torrington, CT, died on March 28, 2017.  Born in Bakersfield, VT on February 27, 1926, she was the daughter of Arthur and Elsie (Camp) Wells.  She was a graduate of Brigham Academy (1943), Johnson Normal School (1946), and Boston University (1952).  She taught in public schools in W.Topsham, VT, the suburbs of Boston (Hopedale, Westwood, and Natick), a U.S. Air Force base in France, St. Lambert, Quebec, and lastly as the reading consultant for the schools of Natick, MA.   She married Michael John Kenney of Parkgate, England on September 1, 1962.

She enjoyed flower gardening, travel, dancing, reading, games, good friends, a cat on her lap, and especially time with her family.  She and her husband retired to Bradenton, FL in 1989 after many years  in Franklin, MA.  In retirement, she gave hours of service in her volunteer role as a tutor, evaluator, and placement specialist with Literacy Volunteers in Bradenton and was honored as Florida’s Volunteer of the Year by the Florida Literacy Council.   Literacy was her passion, though she also supported other humanitarian organizations.  She also helped many of her literacy students study to pass their naturalization test to become U.S. citizens.  In her last years she returned to New England to be closer to her family.

She is survived by her daughter Christine Toste and her husband James of Tiverton, R.I. and her son Gregory Kenney and his wife Margie of Torrington, CT, by her 6 grandchildren: Jason, Jeremy, Joseph, Erin, Kristen, Gregory and by her 6 great-grandchildren as well as by her sister Ruth Wells Baxter, several nieces and nephews, and cousins.  She enjoyed family reunions in Bakersfield as she was a part of a large extended family.

She was predeceased by her parents, her husband Michael John Kenney, her brother Lynford Wells of Newport and her sister Dorothy of Swanzey, N.H. 

A family memorial service will be held in Bakersfield, VT in early summer.  Memorial gifts to the Bradenton Literacy Council may be made to “Manatee Reads!,” 1701 Tamiami Trail, Suite 5, Bradenton, FL. 34205.


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