Mary Theresa "Tese" Kearney Kenney, 87, of Clifton Heights, a civic activist, church volunteer, and mother of 13, died Monday, Dec. 24, at the home of daughter Rosie Criscuolo in West Chester.
Mrs. Kenney attended John W. Hallahan Catholic High School for Girls in Philadelphia. In 1948, she married Daniel "Dapper" Kenney.
While raising a family, she was an officer with the CYO in St. Eugene Parish in Primos and coached the cheerleaders for many years. She never missed a football game at St. Eugene from 1960 until 1982, when her last son graduated from elementary school, her family said.
Mrs. Kenney helped cater fund-raising banquets, assisted at bingo games, and decorated the parish hall for weddings and celebrations.
She was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the De La Salle Council of the Knights of Columbus.
She campaigned for Democratic candidates, including John F. Kennedy, whose presidential inauguration she attended in 1961.
Mrs. Kenney served as a judge of elections for more than a decade and in the late 1970s was tax collector for the Borough of Clifton Heights.
Over the years, she collected door-to-door for many charitable organizations, including Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, United Way, and Easter Seals.
She was physically active despite having lost a lower left leg to a congenital condition as a young woman, her son Ed said. "She couldn't run, but she could hit me with a shoe at 40 yards," he said.
In addition to her son and daughter, Mrs. Kenney is survived by daughters Mimi Smith, Tia Barbero, Anne McKeon, Claire, and Pattee Kissinger; sons Ray, Danny, Jimmy, Mickey, Andy, and Cholly; three brothers; a sister; 30 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Her husband died in 1994.
Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28, at O'Leary Funeral Home, 640 E. Springfield Rd., Springfield, Delaware County. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 29, at St. Eugene Roman Catholic Church, 200 S. Oak Ave., Primos. Burial will be in SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Marple Township.
Donations may be made to Neighborhood Hospice, 400 E. Marshall St., West Chester, Pa. 19380.