Donald Kenney

March 28, 2021


To view the funeral service for Donald Kenney on Thursday, April 1st at 2:00 p.m. please follow the link below:


Don Kenney, died March 28, 2021. Left with a broken heart, his loving wife, Joan Bessey.

Don always said the best way to die is in your sleep. And always true to his way, he did.

Youngest son of the late Jack Kenney and the late Mary (Murphy) Kenney of Conche, NL.

Loving brother to Imelda, Mary, Beatrice, Ray, and Agnes.

Brother-in-law to his sibling’s spouses: Rod, Brian, Elizabeth, Margaret and Frances.

Uncle Don to a Kenney brood of nieces and nephews who will remember his humor, wisdom and love: Jason, Tracy, Greg, Colette, Ramona, John, Rhoda, Gaylord, Caroline, Rhonda, Darren, David, Desmond, André, Annette, Joel, Josh and Janine.

Finest brother-in-law to the Bessey family: Catherine (Ed), Carl (Dianne), Eldon (Susan), Marcie, Keith (Pearl), Woody (Jackie), Noel (Ruth), Edna, Muriel, and Melvin (Ruby).

Uncle Don to Bessey family nieces and nephews in St. John’s: Peter, Terri, Nathan, Jaimee, Danielle, Eliot, Tanya and Marie and to many more living other places.

A loyal friend to Gord, Ed, Jack, Bob, Furlong, Veva, French, Heff, Bill and Glenn plus many more, too many to name but you know who you are.

Whip-smart, a musician, a runner, a swimmer, an avid reader, writer and a world traveler. Don delighted in his first sky-dive and enjoyed his working years, first in the Royal Canadian Air Force and later with Transport Canada.

To the medical professionals whom Don trusted for his care, thank you.

Gone before him: his loving parents, his cherished brothers, Bill and Brendan, much-loved sister, Dorothy, special niece, Sandra and wonderful brother-in-law, Marc.

Following the family’s wishes, there will be no visitation.  A private funeral service will be held from the Carnell Memorial Chapel on Thursday, April 1st, 2021 at 2pm.  Numbers are restricted due to COVID regulations.  Please email if you would like to attend the funeral service.  The funeral service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend with the link available at

Don’s life was dedicated to learning. Donations may be made to the Don Kenney Fund at Memorial University of Newfoundland through the Office of Development, 20 Lambe’s Lane, St. John’s, NL, Canada, A1C 5S7, or by calling 709-864-4354 (toll free 1-877-700-4081) or online at





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I knew Don for 50 years. I would best describe him as as loyal and dedicated friend. May he find peace.

Joan, I was saddened to hear about your loss . My condolences are with you during this difficult time.

What a charming photo of Don.

Joan, I’m so sorry for your loss. Don was always a bright light whenever he popped in to see me while I was working at the Bella Vista. He took great interest in knowing what I was up too. He was such a character.

All our love to you! I hope we can see each other soon. xo

What a shock to see the newspaper posting – I hadnt known Don was ill.
He was such a lovely man – we first met at Sunday open mikes, then for years had a wonderful email friendship, trading lots and LOTS of wonderful music – I learned so much from him about music and many other things.
My life has been enriched by knowing Don, and watching him live his life – he had so much courage and humour and kindness and insight.. Rest in peace Don.

Joan: so sorry to hear of Don’s passing, thinking of you during this difficult time, our sincere condolences to you and all the family Take care.

I had the pleasure of working with Don when he would visit Gander from Moncton as well as being on course with him in Ottawa…He no doubt was an interesting fellow and will be missed by family and friends…

Joan please accept my condolences at this very sad time. So sorry to hear Don had passed away. We both worked at the airport for a number of years. Take care

Dearest Joan, I wish to extend my love and deepest sympathies to you at this time, Don will be greatly missed, he is with God now in Heaven, may he rest in peace.
Love Margaret Kenney

It was a pleasure to know Don. His wit, humour, and thirst for knowledge will always be remembered. Our thoughts are with you Joan during this difficult time. Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss.

Dearest Joan, I will never forget the crazy times I had with Uncle Don. He was such a cool, fun-loving Uncle who lived life to the fullest. He always had a new interest every time I saw him and he never did anything half way…..he was all in, even to the extreme!! I learned so much from him. I have embraced his free spirit as he has been an incredible role model for me. I will miss him a lot and carry on his legacy…..❤️

Dear Joan, Wendy and I are so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Please accept our deepest sympathy for you and your family. Don was a great friend and co-worker. I will always remember his wit and great sense of humour. Stay safe.

Garry and Wendy Turpin

Dearest Aunt Joan, It is with a very heavy heart that we offer you our love and support at the loss of Uncle Don. I have such great memories of him over so many years.. We have all lost someone so special and we grieve with you. Stay strong, we love you.

Dear Joan, I am very sorry for your loss. Find strength in your memories of Don as you get through this difficult time. It has been a long time since we spoke, but I always think of you as a good friend. God bless.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
Dr. Seuss

Dear Joan, I was so very sorry to hear of Don’s passing. These are very difficult times right now but I hope you will fine some comfort in the memories of the wonderful times you shared throughout the years, especially those wonderful travels memories. They will keep you going. My deepest condolences to you and your family XO.

Dear Joan

I want to offer you and your families my deepest and most sincere condolences.
May the memories you had with Don soften the grief you have in your heart today and may it help you navigate through the challenging days ahead.
He was one of a kind and will undoubtedly be missed!

Joan, I am at a loss for words in trying to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Don was such a loyal friend, no matter how many miles we were apart and I shall miss that. His wit, his stories, his knowledge of things were all amazing to me. I am so glad I was able to visit both of you in Florida in 2019.

Please know that I am thinking of you in this darkest of moments and hope you can find strength and comfort in knowing that Don was a good man and fine friend.

My deepest sympathy.

Bob Schweitzer

So many good memories of Don. Always enjoyed Don and Joans visits to Gander growing up. Sorry to hear of his passing. Condolences to you Joan, and all Dons family. He was a great Uncle who left a lasting impression.

I’m deeply saddened by our loss,Joan. I know how close you were,,soul mates. I know how much you are hurting now.
My tears are flowing for a loving,dear ,sincere brother and a great friend. I cherish our memories,which go back far. Am so thankful for the the times Don& Joan spent with Marc& I ,Annette& André.
Don has departed from this earth but will never truly leave,for he will always be alive in our hearts.
Am remembering my brother as a wonderful,gentle,intelligent soul who will forever remain with me. May he Rest In Peace.
My condolences is with you,dearJoan,and with all who loved him..
We’ll all miss him!

Dear Joan, I was so sorry and shocked to hear of Don’s passing. Please accept my sincerest condolences and sympathies and extend them to your families and friends.

I was sad to hear of the passing of my dear buddy, Don. We worked together for more than 10 years at St. John’s airport. He was an electronics technician extraordinaire. I was an air traffic controller. His specialty was a piece of wartime equipment called quadradar. For many years, quadradar (at CYYT) was of critical importance… getting flights on the ground in poor weather. If there was something wrong with the quadradar, Don was often the only “tech” who could bring it back into service!
Away from work, he and I (and other friends) would consume large quantities homebrew beer and listen to music… and make each other laugh. And that’s how I remember him… telling jokes… jokes which you’d have to be intelligent and well-informed, in order to appreciate. Sometimes, I wasn’t intelligent enough… or well-informed enough, and he’d have to explain them to me, in order to keep them from going over-my-head. I was in CYYT from January ’71 until September ’82. Those were excellent years to be there. It was a fun, “happening” place to be in the 70’s! Don was a critical component in making those years some of the best… in my life. My condolences to Joan and to Don’s extended family, and thanks, Don. You’ll be greatly missed.

Dear Joan, I am so sad to hear that you have lost your husband. Don sounds like an amazing guy and it’s clear that you’ve shared a beautiful life with him. I’ve always admired your strength and positive energy and hope those characteristics will help you in these difficult times. Thinking of you and wishing you comfort and strength. Take care, Beth

I am very sad of the passing of my good friend, Don.
He had a passion for music, reading and politics.
An indomitable person that put a smile on many faces.
Don was unique and will be missed, but he will always be with us in spirit. We all can be proud to say we knew him.
Has Don would say: ” Good Bye my friend, Chao.”

Pauline and my thoughts are with you Joan, during this difficult time . Words cannot express the condolences for the loss.

Joan. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you. May Don rest in peace.

Joan, my most sincere condolences. Take care.

Joan, I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Although I cannot imagine the loss that you must feel, the love and memories you and Don shared cannot be erased – they will continue. You are a very special person who has very positively touched the lives of many people. Don’t hesitate to reach out as you are not alone and many, many people would be honored to help you deal with this tragedy.
Deepest sympathies.

So sorry to see this sad news. Please accept out condolences. Stay strong, Joan.

Joan Bessey, sorry to hear of your husband Don’s passing. May you find comfort in cherished memories and the love of family.

We were so sorry to hear of Don’s passing, Joan. Our thought and prayers are with you, the Bessey families, and the Kenney families. Love, Sue and Alvin Powell.

Joan…..Deepest condolences on the passing of Don. Thinking of you during this difficult time. Also, sympathies from my dad….. he always spoke so highly of Don and enjoyed his wit and intelligence.
Warmest regards.
Denise and Keith Bannister and Jim Lambe

Joan, so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Thinking of you during this sad time. Stay strong. Joan Kelly

Aunt Joan:
I shall remember Uncle Don as a man who embraced life and family, as a man whose thunderous laughter could lift a room, and as a man whose quiet intellect reflected careful study.
And I shall remember him as a man with the good judgement to think the world of you.
And I shall forever remember his last words to me not so long ago, and though these words were weakly voiced, their meaning strongly resonates: “I’ll get my guitar, pick you up, and we’ll head on down the road.”
Thinking of you both….

Sorry to hear of Don`s passing.. I feel blessed to have known him. Please accept my deepest condolences.

My friend, so sorry to hear of Don’s passing.
Thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time.
Cherish your precious memories and may they help you in the days ahead.
Take care and God Bless.
Ilean and Don Matchim

On behalf of my Dad, Jim Lambe please accept sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved Don.
I hope it brings you some small measure of comfort to know that many of us are thinking of you at this very sad and difficult time.

To Joan and family. Bruce and I are so saddened to hear of Don’s passing.. We often reminisced about the times we spend with you and Don so many years ago. As the years passed we were always happy to see you when we happened to meet while out and about. Joan, you are in our thoughts.
Ros and Bruce

Joan – so sorry for your loss. Uncle Don was one of a kind – a musician , a comedian and a great conversationalist. I have fond memories of you both joining us for Christmas dinners and spending time at our cabin over the years. Wish I could be there in person. Sending you lots of love and I hope to see you this summer.

Tracy, James and Eleanor

We are deeply sadden to hear of Dons passing.One of the smartess men i have ever known.Many conversations on St Petes Beach.To the Kenny and Bessey Families our thoughts and prayers go out to all.RON AND SHIRLEY DOWER.

While we are deeply saddened by Don’s passing we have a treasure trove of delightful and very personal memories that bring a smile to our faces and joy to our hearts. We have been very close friends with Don for over half a century and through him we met Joan. So, while we grieve his passing we will cherish the times we spent with him and our memories will bring us comfort. Rest in peace old friend.

Joan and family, our sincerest condolences on your loss.

Joan, I am so sorry to hear of Don’s passing. Always looked forward to his calls, emails and of course your Regatta Day visits. Somewhere up at that airport in the sky he is no doubt stuck in a snow bank…. RIP buddy.

No words can adequately describe the incredible loss we all feel, Don brought so much to our lives that we will never forget. We extend our deepest condolences to you Joan, and to the Kenney and Bessey families. Don was more then an uncle to me, he was a friend., he helped me see life in a different light. We will miss him there is no doubt about it.
Love Ramona and Maurice xo

So sad to hear the news of Uncle Don, I have so many pleasant memories of his many trips to Gander during the early years. We always looked forward to visits. His quick wit and humour coupled with his broad knowledge of “ everything”. Uncle Don was super smart and super funny – he loved to tease! My heart goes out to you Joan and the Kenney family. Take care. Rhonda

Joan , to you and all your family , our deepest condolences on Don’s passing. Thinking about you at this difficult time. Hold the memories close. Tony and joan Flood

Joan our sincere condolences to you and family

Sorry for your loss Joan. Sincere condolences to you and the entire extended family.. Melvin and Lenora.

Joan, thank you so much for the love and compassion you always showed my Uncle. I am thinking of you often in this time of loss. Sincerely, Josh

So sorry for your loss. Thinking of you

So long my friend, you’ve been my biggest supporter.
Don was, quite simply, one of the most down to earth person I’ve ever know.n. His intelligence, combined with his quick wit, made our conversations and times together some of my best memories.
My condolences to Joan and all Don’s family.