Thomas J. Kenney dies at age 81 ex-judge and U.S. attorney for Md.


May 10, 1991

A memorial Mass of the Resurrection for Thomas J. Kenney, who served as U.S. attorney for Maryland and as a judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St.

Judge Kenney, who was 81 and lived on Cold Spring Lane, died Wednesday at Union Memorial Hospital of complications to cancer surgery.

A specialist in criminal trial law, he was appointed U.S. attorney in 1963 and kept the post until he was named a judge in 1967.

However, his career on the bench was cut short almost two years later when he was defeated in the 1968 general election when he ran for a full 15-year term.

After his defeat, Judge Kenney returned to private practice with the firm of Burke, Gerber and Willen and also served as a master in equity for the court, which is now known as the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

Born in Curtis Bay, where his father was superintendent of a Baltimore and Ohio railroad coal pier, he attended the public school there before his graduation from St. Charles College with honors in 1930. Two years later, he graduated from Loyola College, where he was valedictorian. In 1935, he received his law degree, again with honors, from the University of Maryland.

He was in private practice until 1946, when he became an assistant U.S. attorney.

He later returned to private practice as a partner in law firms that included Kenney and Kaiser and Kenney, Gallagher and Ricciuti.

In addition to his other offices, he served as chairman of the Off-Street Parking Authority; chairman of the Maryland Commission on Criminal Law, which revised the state's criminal code; and chairman of the Baltimore chapter of the Federal Bar Association.

A member of the Gamma Eta Gamma Legal fraternity, he was also the recipient of the first award of the St. Thomas More Society for outstanding contributions to the legal profession.

The former archdiocesan president of the Holy Name Society was a founder and former president of the St. Charles Lay Alumni Association. He also served as vice president of the St. Charles Alumni Association, which included those who continued their education for the priesthood after graduating from the minor seminary in Catonsville as well as those who entered secular professions.

He was a former member of the board of the Hibernian Society of Baltimore.

He is survived by his wife of 50 years, the former Agnes Urbus; three sons, Michael P. and Thomas J. Kenney Jr., both of Baltimore, and J. Timothy Kenney of Perry Hall; and four daughters, Kathleen A. Kenney of San Francisco, Geraldine K. Sweeney of Ellicott City and Brigid E. and Mary Louise Kenney, both of Baltimore.

The family suggested that memorial contributions could be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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