Margaret "Peggy" (Harty) O'Rourke Kenney,
96, passed away Saturday, November 3rd. Born on April 13, 1916, she was the daughter of John and Elizabeth Harty. Peggy had 3 sisters and 3 brothers, and is survived by her youngest sister, Martha Cavanagh.
As the mother of 8 children, 30 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren, Peggy had a large and loving family of her own that extended to her sons and daughters-in-law as well as to devoted friends, Margaret Plunkett and Victoria Valois.
Peggy's years were full of family and activity. She will be remembered for the energy she put into being a performer, an educator and an active participant in civic life.
As a youngster, Peggy was a dancer, performing in shows at St. Michael's Parish with friends, particularly Joe Kenney, who would later become her husband. In 1936, Peggy studied ballet at Charlif's Ballet School in New York City. She used this dance education to open and operate a dance studio, teaching children and adults with her sister Martha.
As a young and active mother of eight children, in 1955 Peggy found time to chair the Mothers March for the March of Dimes. In 1958, she entered and won a Home Builders Contest sponsored by Providence Gas Company. Winning this contest sent her to Washington, DC where she spoke at a Women's Conference on Housing in October of that year.
Peggy was dedicated to working on her education. In 1965, Peggy completed a certificate in Physical Education at Catholic Teachers College of Providence and taught physical education in Providence parochial schools for 10 years afterward.
In her 60's, Peggy became a certified nursing assistant and dedicated herself to working with patients. But Peggy's patients weren't the only ones who would remember her life saving abilities: Peggy's family can recall her saving drowning swimmers on three separate occasions.
Later in life, Peggy married James J. O'Rourke, her late husband Joe's friend and best man. Peggy will be remembered for her mischievous spirit and huge thirst for life.
A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, November 7th at 10:00 AM in St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 864 Point Judith Road, Narragansett to which relatives and friends are invited. Visiting hours in the Cranston-Murthy Funeral Home of Wickford, 140 West Main Street, North Kingstown on Tuesday, November 6th from 3:00-7:00 PM.
Burial will be in St. Francis Cemetery in Wakefield. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in her name to St. Mary Star of the Sea Church 864 Point Judith Road, Narragansett, RI.
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Cranston - Murphy Funeral Home of Wickford
140 West Main Street
North Kingstown, Rhode Island 02852