Obituary of Patrick Kenneally
March 7, 2018
Patrick Kenneally passed away unexpectedly on March 1, 2018. He was 63 years old. Patrick leaves behind family and countless friends from throughout Northern California, especially in the Grass Valley area where he lived for most of the past 20 years.
Patrick was a very active child and never sat still for long. It was not surprising his bedtime was 7:30 p.m. because his parents were exhausted by then.
Patrick played football on a Palo Alto Pop Warner team. He was mechanically skilled and built or worked on some of his cars even as a youth. He attended Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA and graduated from San Jose State University in 1976.
Patrick Kenneally followed his family's footsteps in their passion for real estate. Patrick got into construction as a young man and then in 1983, began a successful residential sales career in the Roseville area with Great Western Realty, Coker Ewing and Coldwell Banker. He was involved in several social groups including many years with the 20/30 club. He was loved and admired by many in the industry.
Patrick was an avid football enthusiast and big 49er fan! He was very athletic and enjoyed water and snow skiing, racquetball, swimming, cycling and liked to hang out at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club. After his accident on Englebright Lake in 1991, he began a courageous period of adjustment to life as a quadriplegic, moving to the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.
His later life and spirit epitomized independent living with a significant disability. He began working at FREED, a 5-county center for independent living to advocate for others with disabilities. He became an active board member of both FREED and the Nevada-Sierra Regional Public Authority (now Connecting Point). Patrick participated in the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute and continued to be a staunch advocate for people with disabilities, especially those less fortunate. As a quadriplegic, Patrick designed, built, and landscaped his two homes; camped in a travel trailer to Baja and more local spots; read hundreds of books; and frequently attended concerts and events with his buddies.
As one of his friends aptly said, "It's hard to give an Earthly goodbye to Patrick. In many ways, he was larger than life. Edgy and blunt, funny and joyful, and at once brash and loving as can be. Our world has lost a good guy in Patrick Kenneally."
Patrick is survived by his sister Kathryn Kenneally, half-brother Jeff Mate, uncles Jack Kenneally and James Cline, aunts Corinne Azzolino and Hannah Chauvet, several cousins and his two caregivers, Maekla Quebatay and Stephanie Burns who were family to him, and his cat Lila. His parents, Helen and Robert Kenneally, and two adored rotties, Samantha and Annie, predecease him.
In his memory, contributions may be made to FREED, Gold Country Community Center or the Hospitality House, all located in Grass Valley, CA.
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