Cover photo for Malcolm E. Kenney, Phd.'s Obituary
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Malcolm E. Kenney, Phd.

Malcolm E. Kenney, Ph.D., of Cleveland Heights, OH passed away peacefully at home on November 28, 2022 at the age of 94. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Betty C. Kenney, his parents, James and Lily Whyte Kenney, and his brother, James T. Kenney Jr,.  Malcolm will be remembered as a generous philanthropist, a loyal friend, a devoted mentor, and a brilliant scholar.

For many years, Malcolm’s generosity has benefited visitors to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  He was a major supporter of several exhibits, where he served as honorary trustee. Thanks to Malcolm, art lovers and art learners enjoyed Alberto Giacometti-2022, Stories in Storage-2021, Praxiteles-2013, Paul Gauguin-2009, and also in 2009 Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He was also a generous benefactor to the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as to many other charities in Northeast Ohio.

Malcolm was a faithful supporter of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, taking a special interest in the children’s ministry programs.  He enjoyed the stimulating ideas discussed in the adult forum, becoming friends with other parishioners through shared meals and, in his last months, was grateful for loving pastoral care, especially from The Rev. Jeanne Leinbach and The Rev. Jessie Dodson.

He was an avid traveler especially to the European continent where he often visited sites of scientific interest.  For many trips, he was accompanied by his good friend Lesia Kucway.

Professionally, Malcolm dedicated his life to Chemistry.  After receiving his BS in Chemistry from the University of Redlands (1950), he obtained his PhD from Cornell University (1953). Following his service in the U.S. Army from 1954-56, he embarked on an independent academic career at Case Institute of Technology in 1956. There, he rose through the ranks to become Professor of Chemistry in 1966 in the newly merged Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).  In recognition of the excellence in teaching he was a General Electric Teaching Fellow from 1952-53 and later received the Strosacker Teaching Award in 1964. His research program was highly collaborative and involved numerous industrial and other academic researchers.  His work on photodynamic tumor therapy compounds engaged colleagues in the Case medical school as a possible cancer treatment.

His fundamental studies were recognized by his receipt of the R. Patrick Linstead Award in Phthalocyanine Chemistry in 2000.  Professor Kenney had a productive career with 30 patents and 200 papers to his name.   Numerous students received their PhD based on research under his direction.  In 1991 he was named as the Hinman B. Hurlbut Professor of Chemistry at CWRU.  In 2017 he became Emeritus Professor of Chemistry and remained engaged in scientific writing and departmental affairs.

Services are to be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (St. Martin’s Chapel), 2747 Fairmount Blvd., Cleveland Heights (44106) on Monday, Dec. 19th, 2022, at 4:00 p.m., with a reception to follow at St. Paul’s Tucker Hall. Private burial in Lake View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Malcolm’s honor may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or Hospice of the Western Reserve.


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