Peter J.R. Sena, 78, of West Chester, a former newspaper editor, pharmaceutical company executive, and church volunteer, died of heart and kidney failure Saturday, June 4, at Chester County Hospital.

Mr. Sena grew up in Cheltenham, graduated from Northeast Catholic High School, and earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Pennsylvania in 1954.

He served in the Army and was stationed in Fort Jackson, S.C.

After his discharge, he joined the Burlington County Times. He was the managing editor when he left in 1964 to work for The Inquirer.

Four years later, Mr. Sena joined the public-relations department of Smith Kline & French, now GlaxoSmithKline, in Philadelphia. He held various positions with the company, including vice president for international operations and vice president for investor relations.

After retiring in the late 1980s, Mr. Sena was a consultant for the QVC shopping network for a year. He also wrote speeches for and was a consultant to Alan Keyes, a conservative political activist and friend. Since 1956, Mr. Sena had been married to Mary Gardner Sena. The couple raised a family in Willingboro and Cherry Hill. After they moved to West Chester in 1979, they became active members of St. Agnes Church.

Mr. Sena was a member of the Legion of Mary and the respect life group at the church. In 1992, he helped found the St. Agnes Day Room to serve the poor and homeless in the West Chester area.

Mr. Sena and his wife enjoyed attending their grandchildren's athletic games. For the last 15 years, they spent two weeks each year in Stone Harbor, N.J., with their three children and grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Sena is survived by a son, Peter; daughters Tara Savarise and Laurie Leeder; and seven grandchildren.

Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 9, at the DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, 410 N. Church St., West Chester, and after 9 a.m. Friday, June 10, at St. Agnes Church, 233 W. Gay St., West Chester, where a Funeral Mass will be said at 10. Burial will be in the church cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the St. Agnes Day Room or the Legion of Mary at St. Agnes Church, 233 W. Gay St., West Chester, Pa. 19380.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.