The Passing of Marianne Kenney

Williams faculty and staff,

I write with sad news about the passing of Marianne (Huttle) Kenney, who retired in 1989 from her position as premedical secretary in the chemistry department. Marianne died on Tuesday at the Soldier’s Home in Holyoke, Mass., at the age of 94.

Born in North Adams in 1922, the daughter of Mary Huttle, Marianne graduated from Drury High School and attended Bliss Business College. She then pursued a path that was relatively unusual among women of her generation, enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. She received an honorable discharge from the Corps in 1946. Her time in service was very meaningful to her, as evidenced by her lifelong involvement in multiple veterans’ organizations, including the Women Marines Association, for whom she served as president of the MA 2 chapter; the Marine Corps League, of which she was a life member; and the Westfield River Valley Detachment Marine Corps League.

In 1956, Marianne married Ambrose James Kenney at St. Francis of Assisi Church in North Adams. Ambrose passed away five years later, in 1961.

After her honorable discharge, Marianne progressed through a series of secretarial positions in the North Adams community, first at the Presidential Life Insurance Company, then for Judge Samuel Levine and the Reinhard-Levine Insurance Agency, and finally for the North Adams mayor’s office, before joining Williams in 1975.

Marianne worked in our chemistry department for 14 years, until her retirement in 1989. She was a dedicated and caring presence. Chip Lovett, Philip and Dorothy Schein Professor of Chemistry, recalls that, “Marianne was incredibly friendly and upbeat, and her warm and supportive nature was very helpful to me and many other young faculty members transitioning into the chemistry department.”

Funeral services will be held tomorrow, Friday, October 20, at 10:30 a.m., at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in North Adams. Calling hours will be from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. before the service, at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Central Chapel in North Adams.

Marianne will be interred with full military honors at Bellevue Cemetery in Adams. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.


Adam Falk