Father Robert Kenny, 1965–2015

Father Robert Kenny before his 2003 ordination. File Photo Father Robert Kenny before his 2003 ordination. File Photo

Father Robert James Kenny, a priest of the Archdiocese of Seattle since 2003, died March 31. He was 49.

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he was ordained June 6, 2003, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. He served as parochial vicar at St. Michael Parish in Olympia until 2005 when he was appointed priest administrator of St. Mary Parish in Castle Rock and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Kelso. Since 2009, he had served as parochial vicar at Seattle’s St. Edward, St. George and St. Paul parishes.

“Father Bob’s sudden death brings great sadness to us,” said Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. “His kind, priestly presence brought hope and consolation to many people, and all of us will miss him. I extend my prayers and condolences to his parents and family, who have lost their beloved son and brother."

Father Robert Kenny

He had a great love of animals, including his dog, Sarah, and cats. He also enjoyed movies and travel.

In an email announcing Father Kenny’s death, archdiocesan vicar for clergy Father Gary Zender wrote, “Those who knew him were impressed with his quiet, gentle nature, his kindness to parishioners, the quality of his homilies and dedication to good catechesis especially to those in the RCIA.”

He is survived by his parents, Trudy and Ed; brother Tom; sister, Paula Anderson; brother Marty Vrana; aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews.

A viewing will be held Thursday, April 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Columbia Funeral Home in Seattle. A vigil service and recitation of the rosary will be Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m. at St. Edward Church (4205 S. Orcas St.). A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, April 10, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Edward Church. A reception will follow at the church. Interment will be at Seattle’s Calvary Cemetery.

Donations in Father Kenny’s memory may be made to the Humane Society of Cowlitz County and Catholic Community Services of Western Washington.

This obituary was updated April 8 to include a comment from Archbishop J. Peter Sartain.