Patricia Kennelly

patricia kennelly

January 10, 1965 ~ February 3, 2019

Patricia Christine Kennelly (Plunkett), 54, of Leonia, NJ. On February 3, we lost our BEST Wife, Mother, Sister, Aunt, Daughter, Daughter-in-Law, Sister-in-Law, Mother-in-Law, Friend, Cousin, Niece, Tennis Partner, Leonian, Volunteer, and the most courageous and caring woman we knew. Patti leaves behind her broken hearted soulmate of 37 years and husband of 28 years, Danny, along with her cherished children, Annie and husband Zal, Molly and Matty, whom she adored. Also survived by her twin brother Chris (Jennifer), brothers John (Laurie), Dave (Courtney), Phil, and Steve (Elsie), brother in laws Steve Kennelly (the late Rita), Ed Kennelly (Nancy), sister in laws Kathy Craig (Chris), and Christine DeSanto, as well as her nieces and nephews she loved so much, Erin, Patrick, Justin, Shannon, Sam, Michael, Oliver, Ryan, Lia, Mary, Emily, Katie, Christian, Connor, Kelsey, and Charlotte, and her mother in law, her Lovey, Bernice Kennelly. Patti was preceded in death by her mother, Peggy Plunkett, father-in-law, Ed Kennelly, and sister-in-law, Rita Kennelly.

Patti grew up in Leonia, NJ, a town she loved, and decided to raise her family there. She graduated from Leonia High School, went to LaSalle University, and later received her degree from Ramapo College, where she graduated with honors while raising her three young children. Patti unabashedly and proudly forwent a full time career, choosing to put all her efforts into raising her children and volunteering in their endeavors along the way. Patti’s volunteer efforts included coaching softball, Leonia Recreation Commission member, Community Chest Member, Home and School Association member and officer, Palisades Park-Leonia Parents Football Association President, Bergen County Volunteer Center (BCVC), Sports Boosters, CoFiA, and Girl Scouts, to name a few. It was her work at the BCVC that led her into a career as a Volunteer Coordinator for the Hurricane Sandy Long Term Recovery Project, where she found her true calling.

Patti was truly passionate in everything she cared about. Second to her love for family and friends was her love for tennis and her crew at the Leonia Tennis Club and surrounding clubs in the area. She loved the competitiveness of the game, but more so the deep bonds and camaraderie she had with her fellow players. Patti’s other passions included her garden, her neighbors, bird watching, politics (LIBERAL!), finding joy and pride in everything she did, and of course, gossip.

In honor of Patti, the family asks that you stop and take time to enjoy your family, your friends, your neighbors, your town, your gardens, your sports, volunteer your time, send some money to your favorite charities, support your politicians (as long as they’re Democrats), and appreciate how precious life can be.

Patti’s family will be holding a wake for visitors at the Frank Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street Fort Lee, NJ, on Friday, February 8, from 4-8pm, followed by a Memorial Service to celebrate her life at the Leonia High School Little Theater, 100 Christie Heights Street (off Grand Ave), Leonia, NJ, at 11am on Saturday, February 9. In lieu of flowers, (although Patti did love flowers, so why not?), the family set up a scholarship in Patti’s honor, and will accept donations to the Kennelly/Plunkett Scholarship at LHS, sent to 190 Highwood Avenue, Leonia, NJ 07605. The family will also be making donations in Patti’s honor to the Bergen County Volunteer Center All Wrapped Up Program, The Center for Food Action, Leonia CoFiA, The Leonia Community Chest, The Leonia American Legion, The Leonia Recreation Center, The Leonia Library, and The Leonia High School Athletic Department. Patti encourages everyone to give whatever they can to causes they care about.

For condolences, directions, or information (201) 944-0100


Memorial Service: February 9, 2019 11:00 am

Leonia High School Little Theater
100 Christie Heights Street
Leonia, NJ 07605

Visitation at Funeral Home: February 8, 2019 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Final Resting Place:

Rosedale Crematory
408 Orange Road
Montclair, NJ 07042

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Memories Timeline


  1. My sincere condolences to the Kennelly and Plunkett families. She was a wonderful person and you offered a wonderful tribute to her. May she always be in your hearts and memories.

  2. My heart is broken to hear this news. Patti was so courageous and even in the midst of this disease she found a way to hope, live life and laugh. I will always remember our little conversations as I walked Bam Bam and stopped by the steps – especially ones where we analyzed the current POTUS. She was also so generous promoting the Community Chest and supported my daughter Sofia every year by purchasing GS cookies… always the biggest order!!! I will miss her smile, positivity and all around kindness. I pray and hope that she is in another wonderful place free from the pain and suffering of this disease. Sending love to all of you – my dear neighbors.

  3. My heart is so broken for Danny and Patty…That's who they were to me, Danny and Patty. Such a devoted wife, mother, friend… So much love! I never met anyone that had that pure, pure, love in them. I've never seen her really angry, just happy. She never, ever ceased to ask me about my day, how I'm feeling, my children (of course), did you hear (smile), we talked kids for days, and when my Dad died the Kennellys were there…all five. My heart is so broken for those of us left behind. But she is now safe, no pain, no sorrow…Bye, Bye Patty…see you in Heaven!!!

  4. Our heartfelt condolences to the Kennelly and Plunkett families:

    What a beautiful tribute to Patti. Patti had a big heart and her smile gave away her warmth, her tenderness and her caring nature which she shared with many. Surely she will not be forgotten.
    May your greatest memories and the love and support of family and friends bring you strength, comfort and peace in the days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.


    The Malloy Family

  5. This is crushing. If there ever is a model of what it means to be neighbor, citizen, friend … and oh so much more … it is Patti. I am so sorry and sad for your loss. – Owen

  6. Many prayers to all. Life is short but she lived it well. Hang in there. It will be s bumpy road but it gets smoother. She will never be forgotten. Always in your thoughts and prayers. Hugs to all

  7. Wishing comfort and peace to the Kennelly family. This is such a devastating loss. My heart goes out to you during this extremely difficult time.
    Carolee Carmello

  8. Patti was a beautiful woman inside and out! I am so saddened by her passing. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. May Patti Rest In Peace…

  9. Although a few year older, I started to get to know Patti over the past few years.. It was always fun to run into Patti and Danny as they walked many times around our beloved town. My thoughts, and prayers to The Kennelly family, The Plunkett Family at this time! Patti always went out her way to share a positive story or share a positive vibe and that is I suppose "who" she was! Thanks for the gift Patti!

    Peace to all. Mark Watson

  10. Patti always had a smile on…always happy to see you. I might have been a little younger but she always made me feel welcome. I can remember being at the pool all day which is what we did in Leonia and you could always count on seeing the same people and Patti was there. My heart breaks for Danny and the kids. Patti was a gift to this world and I'm glad I can say I knew her. You are all in Leonia's thoughts and prayers.

  11. Our condolences. She was a great person always smiling always helpful. She will be missed. Your family is in my prayer ,

  12. I met Patti when she joined our team at the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Information Center. Patti made serious and st times heartbreaking work manageable because of her indomitable optimism and can-do attitude. Our staff all loved her and valued her fine work as a volunteer s x then as Volunteer Manager on our staff. Such a sad loss and wassay too young. My sympathies and love to Patti’s family. Oh how she cherished you.

  13. When I came to Georgetown's Senior parent weekend, I was newly widowed and a little lost. Patti was so wonderful to me and made me feel so included in the parent "group". She was an amazing woman. Liam and I are so sorry for your loss and will keep you in our prayers.

  14. We are so sorry for your loss, A Beautiful life over too soon. We will miss seeing her smiling face walking her dog on Sylvan. May you Rest In Peace.

  15. Wishing peace and God's blessings for our friend Patti and her dear family. We missed her at our recent 35th HS Reunion. I dropped her a message to tell her how much we all missed her and that I was praying for her. Our exchange made me smile…and cry…as she did too. Will keep your family in prayer.

  16. Our sincerest condolences on your loved one’s passing. We have been continuously praying for her and will offer our daily masses.

  17. One of our fondest memories of Patti is how she made us feel welcome when we moved onto Highwood by inviting us to the block party that she organized in 1998. It really reflects what kind of person Patti was. We were so lucky when, later, her lovely family moved across the street from us. It had been so pleasant to see Patti and Danny on their front porch, we always enjoyed our conversations with them and watching Annie, Molly, and Matty growing up. From the summer flower baskets to the Christmas lighting, Patti always made the neighbourhood feel warm, she will be greatly missed.
    Sammy and Brenda

  18. Patricia was an amazing volunteer colleague through the Hurricane Sandy recovery and All Wrapped Up. Funny, warm, kind and hardworking–she truly "turned her caring into meaningful action."

    We are all the better for having known her.

    On behalf of the Board, Staff and Volunteers of the Bergen Volunteer Center, please accept our condolences.


  19. We will miss our dear friend forever and cherish the memories of all the years we shared. All our love to Danny, Annie, Molly, and Matty.

  20. I'm so very sorry to hear of Patti's passing. I was a friend of hers during her freshman year at ECU a LONG time ago. For some reason, I just googled her name to see if I could see what she was up to. Though we lost touch a couple years after she left ECU, I remember her well. She was one of the funniest women I'd ever met. She made me laugh every day, and I was really missed her when I returned to school.

    I also remember her love for "Dan the Man", as she called him. Looks they ended up together. If anyone wants, I can dig up a photo or two of her from 1983 or so! Again, so sorry to hear this. She was a wonderful person.

    Kristin (Schwedler) Hansen

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