Obituary: Marie L. Kenerson

Marie L. Kenerson, at 89
Marie Loretta [Parkes] Kenerson, 89, died peacefully and surrounded by love on Sept. 14, after hospice care in Wenham, at the home of her son Paul.
Throughout and at different times of her long life, Mrs. Kenerson was a happily active member in a multitude of clubs and groups. In Massachusetts, she was affiliated with the Women’s Sodality of St. Mary’s Parish, Hull Yacht Club, Hull Garden Club, Orton-Gillingham Society, Delta Kappa Gamma Society – Alpha Zeta branch, Hull Association of Retired Teachers, Anne Scully Senior Center, and the neighborhood “Pooped-out Mothers.”
The connective tissue among many and varied communities, Mrs. Kenerson was a clear reflection of her commitment to “love one another.” She was a city girl who became an oceanfront woman, leaving her childhood Dorchester neighborhoods and urban education for a quieter life on Nantasket Beach. It wasn’t long before she fell in love with crewing on her family’s Ensign, spending days on the beach with her red-hatted children, playing an integral role in her husband’s Hingham business, The Garden Gate, and deepening roots in the small town. 
Her life was decorated with lifelong girlfriends from St. Peter’s School, Jeremiah E. Burke High School, and Teachers College of the City of Boston (now UMass Boston); relatives who spanned multiple generations and branches of a complex family tree; longtime neighbors and dear friends from Hull, where she lived for more than 68 years; cherished relationships nurtured in Sanibel, Fla., where she finally had the time and freedom to explore new and expanded interests and hobbies. 
With a natural talent for deep and lasting relationships, she lived and died with a full heart. Her presence, quiet strength, and humility were gifts she offered freely, and these qualities strengthened her impact on others. 
Although perhaps most recognized as the devoted mother of eight, Mrs. Kenerson was also very proud of her accomplishments as an educator. Upon graduation from college in 1949, just weeks before her wedding date and move to Hull, she eagerly accepted her first job as a special education teacher. It wasn’t long, however, before she began her own family and subsequently left the traditional school setting. 
Many years and many children later, she studied at Massachusetts General Hospital’s early and distinguished Dyslexia Program, earning the honor of becoming one of the first Orton-Gillingham Fellows. During years spent as a private tutor and classroom reading specialist at the Jacobs Elementary School, her heart exploded with love for and dedication to her work, students, and colleagues. Her patience, kindness, and unrelenting commitment were gifts to many who had struggled before meeting her. After more than three decades as a homemaker, this professional facet of her life was deeply meaningful and brought great depth and breadth to her days.  
After retirement, Mrs. Kenerson spent many winters on her beloved Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida with her late husband, John. There, they enjoyed 25-plus years of sunset boat trips, interesting arts, literature and exercise classes, outdoor adventures, and many deep friendships. 
Mrs. Kenerson understood the rhythms of life and had a trust in the waves of activity and quiet, crowds and solitude, distance and proximity. Most of all, she believed that God had guided her life decisions and path; she had no regrets, but only gratitude for a life well lived. She birthed a nation of good people, and this was her greatest legacy. It is so comforting to know that, true to her word, she is leaving us with “oceans of love”. 
Mrs. Kenerson was the daughter of the late John B. and Loretta [Costello] Parkes. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband John and son Brian Kenerson. She is survived by her children, John, Paul, William, Thomas, Marie, Kevin Kenerson, and Carol Wilson. She loved all her daughters-in-law, Lisbet, Elaine, Julie, Hirity, Kathy, and LuAnn as her own. She was the cherished grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of eight. She was the loving sister of Ann Murphy and the late John, Richard, Robert, Donald, Leo Parkes, and Dorothy McCarthy. 
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours Thursday, Sept. 28, 4-8 p.m., at the Pyne Keohane Funeral Home, 21 Emerald St., Hingham. Her funeral Mass will be held Friday, Sept. 29, at 11 a.m. in St. Ann’s Church. Internment will follow, at Hull Village Cemetery. 
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Marie L. Kenerson may be made to Little Sisters of the Poor at 186 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA 02143, online at, or to Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators at AOGPE, P.O. Box 234, Amenia, NY 12501, online at 
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