In Memoriam: Oct. 31

James E. Rychel, 91, Vero Beach

James E. Rychel, 91, of Vero Beach, passed away Oct. 28, 2017, at Indian River Medical Center. He was born in Zeigler, Ill., on March 15, 1926, to the late Teofil Rychel and Mary Swetz. James lived in Vero Beach, having moved from Saginaw, Mich., some 30 years ago.

Mr. Rychel served in the United States Navy, in the South Pacific 1942-1945. He joined the United States Army in 1947, serving until 1954.

James retired from the Saginaw Fire Department as an Assistant Chief, after nearly 30 years of service. Jim successfully graduated from a number of technical schools, both in the military and as a member of the Fire Department.

Survivors include his beloved wife of 71 years, Donna; son, Leland (wife, Jan); grandchildren, Jason Rychel (Angela), Scott Rychel (Amber), Jennifer Farmer (Casey); great-grandchildren, Tyler, Zachary, Tanner, and Isabella.

He was predeceased by great-grandson, Isaac.

A Gathering will be held 10 a.m.-11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 3, with a Memorial Service following 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 3, at Thomas S. Lowther Funeral Home & Crematory, 1655 27th Street, Vero Beach, FL 32960.


Spencer Montgomery, Jr., 102, Vero Beach

Spencer Montgomery, Jr., 102, died in his home in Vero Beach, on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, just three short weeks after his 103rd birthday.  Spen was born Oct. 5, 1914, in Springfield, Mass., to Spencer Montgomery and Kathryn Barber Street.

He lived much of his first 90 years in Suffield, Ct.,  graduating from Suffield Academy in 1933 and Yale University in 1937. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, from which he was honorably discharged as a Major in 1947. He was stationed in Europe and Northern Africa during much of his service, and was able to recount every detail of this time, right up until his last breath.

He met his wife of 71 years, Mary Ellen “Skeeter” Montgomery, while stationed in Texas at the end of his service career and they married in 1946. He began working at the Traveler’s Insurance Co., but he quickly took the reins at the family wire manufacturing company, The Montgomery Company in Windsor Locks, Ct., where he remained until retirement in 1990.  Spen and Skeeter travelled extensively, visiting such places as Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, Japan, most of the European countries, the fjords in Norway, Cairo, Prague, Alaska, Hawaii, Mexico, South America, Canada, as well as much of the continental US.

A great athlete, he swam, played baseball and was an avid golfer, beginning when he was 11 and ending the year he turned 99.  He shot an 86 at a championship golf course when he was 96, although he always said that he played from the “green tees” then.

Spen was fiercely loyal to family and good friends; family first, except in early April when watching the Masters took precedence.  He was always interested in learning about people he met and he never forgot even the smallest detail.  There was never a doubt where he stood on any subject.  After he had to give up playing golf, he was found most days at Starbucks and Five Guys or Checkers. Spen was a lifetime member of First Congregational Church of Suffield, Ct., Suffield Country Club, The Moorings Club of Vero Beach, Stonington Country Club, and The Wadawanuck Club in Stonington.

He is survived by his sister, June Parker, of Oklahoma City; daughter, Mary Ellen McCarthy, of Vero Beach; son, William Waller IV, of Jupiter; son, Mark Montgomery, of North Carolina; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife, Mary “Skeeter” Montgomery, sister Ruth Tryon, brother, Street Montgomery, and son Spencer Montgomery III.

A reception to celebrate Spencer’s life will be at the Moorings Club at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 25.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the George M. Montgomery Scholarship Fund at Suffield Academy, Main St, Suffield, CT 06078, or Vero Beach VNA Hospice, 1110 35th Lane, Vero Beach, FL 32960.


Paulist Fr. John Kenny, 86, Vero Beach

With sadness, we announce that our brother, Paulist Fr. John Kenny, passed into eternal life on Sunday morning, Oct. 29, 2017, in Vero Beach. His Paulist brothers were praying the Rosary in his presence as he passed. Fr. Kenny was 86.

Having entered our minor seminary at age 18, he had been a member of the Paulist community for 68 years. Ordained on May 1, 1958, he had been a priest for 59 years.

Fr. Kenny was born Sept. 11, 1931, and raised on Chicago’s South Side, the son of John J. Kenny and Catherine Hurley Kenny.

He made his first promises to the Paulist community on Sept. 8, 1952.  He made his final promises on Sept. 8, 1955.

Fr. Kenny earned an undergraduate and masters degree from our major seminary, St. Paul’s College.  He also earned a masters degree in French from the University of Maryland.

In his first assignment, Fr. Kenny served from 1959 to 1966 on the faculty of our minor seminary, St. Peter’s in Baltimore. He served as a Catholic campus minister at Boston University from 1966 to 1970. From 1970 to 1978, he was director of the Catholic Information Center in Grand Rapids, MI. He then served as pastor of three university parishes: St. John’s in Morgantown, WV (1978 to 1984); St Thomas Aquinas in Boulder, CO (1984 to 1992); and St. Andrew in Clemson, SC (1993 to 1999).

During these years, he also served as superior of the Paulist Fathers in each city. In 2000, Fr. Kenny returned to Grand Rapids where he again ministered at the Catholic Information Center and, starting in 2008, at the Cathedral of St. Andrew.

Paulist Fr. John Kenny, right, receiving a first priestly blessing from Paulist Fr. Steven Petroff, left, on May 20, 2017. In September, 2015, he moved to our senior ministry residence in Vero Beach, FL.

Just two weeks ago, Fr. Kenny was in Grand Rapids for the 70th anniversary celebrations on Saturday, Oct. 14, for the Catholic Information Center. At the event, he expressed his gratefulness to God for his priesthood, saying, “I’d do it all over again! It’s been wonderful!”

Fr. Kenny is preceded in death by his parents and his brothers, Fr. Donald Kenny (who had been priest of Diocese of Joliet, IL) and Thomas Kenny.

In addition to the Paulist Fathers, he is survived by his sister-in-law, Dorothy; his nephews, Richard, Scott, Michael, and Brian; and several great nephews and great nieces.

We pray for our departed brother in the ancient words of the Church:

John, May the angels lead you into paradise, may the martyrs come to welcome you, and take you to the holy city, the new and eternal Jerusalem.

Schedule of Events in Remembrance and Celebration of Paulist Fr. John Kenny:

  • Thursday, Nov. 2: Cathedral of St. Andrew, Grand Rapids, Mich., 10:30 a.m. Memorial Mass, Reception to Follow.
  •  Friday, Nov. 3: Holy Cross Church, Vero Beach, 9 a.m. Visitation, 10 a.m. Funeral Mass,Transfer to New York City.
  •  Sunday, Nov. 5: Paulist Fathers Motherhouse, 415 West 59th St., New York, NY, 7 p.m. Wake Service & Visitation in House Chapel
  •  Monday, Nov. 6: The Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, NY, 10 a.m. Funeral Mass,Funeral Mass available via Facebook Live.

Following the funeral Mass, Fr. Kenny will be buried in the Paulist section of St. Thomas the Apostle Cemetery in Oak Ridge, NJ followed by a luncheon in St. Thomas Church Hall.

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