Elizabeth Ann Kenealy
February 20, 1932 – April 17, 2020
Elizabeth Ann (Walker) Kenealy
Betty Kenealy, 88 years old, of Springfield Virginia, passed away on April 17, 2020 at home.
Betty was our loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt and sister. She lived her values of duty to her family and her Catholic faith. She lived a blessed and full life. We will miss her forever.
The eldest of six children, Betty was born in Portland Oregon to Joseph Lail and Marie Bird-Walker on February 20, 1932. During the Great Depression, the family moved to Oahu, where Betty’s father, Lail, worked at Pearl Harbor and eventually served as Chief of the Federal Fire Department in Honolulu. When Betty was only nine years old, living just outside the naval base with her family, she witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Later in life, she often spoke movingly about that day and the war. She attended Sacred Hearts Academy High School in Kaimuki and graduated from the University of Hawaii. Betty was an accomplished musician. She played in a dance band while in college, taught countless students how to play the piano, and served as the church organist in many Catholic parishes over the years.
On June 11, 1955, she married a young Naval officer, William E. (Bill) Kenealy, Jr. at the Submarine Memorial Chapel, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and the young couple then moved to the next duty station - Quonset Point, Rhode Island. As a Navy wife, Betty dedicated herself to her family and guided the family through many moves across the country during those years, including one tour back in Pearl Harbor. She raised five children and supported other Navy families through her service to the Navy Relief Society. Betty was devoted, loving, and headstrong. When Bill was stationed in Saigon, Vietnam during the war, unable to endure separation from him for an entire year, Betty flew to Saigon for a visit midway through his tour.
Betty also worked as a secretary at the Defense Logistics Agency in Virginia for several years, after the children were grown. Ever the volunteer, she was at the Inova Alexandria Hospital Volunteer Desk on September 11, 2001, to witness and support the care provided to 9/11 victims transported from the Pentagon. Betty was heavily involved in the Board of Lady Governors at Inova Alexandria Hospital and was a faithful member of Nativity Catholic Church.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents and brothers: John, Michael, Timothy, and Patrick. In addition to her husband, Capt. William E. Kenealy, Jr. (USN, ret.), she is survived by her sister Mary Helen Hutton (Calvin) and Betty’s five children: William E. Kenealy III (Phil), Kathleen Kenealy (Mary), John Kenealy (Kelly), Kevin Kenealy (Rosanne) and Teresa Brown (Stanley), along with numerous nephews, nieces and others.
Betty was most proud of her 11 grandchildren, from whom she took great joy: Kate and Mary’s Dante and Kaia; John and Kelly’s William, Gary (Carolyn), and Clifford (David); Kevin and Rosanne’s Alina, Brennan, Connor, Danika, and Erban; and Teresa’s Olivia; and one great granddaughter, Gary and Carolyn’s Amelia.
Funeral services at Arlington Cemetery are to be determined and will be noted on the Demaine Funeral Home website.
“In recognition of her service to the Navy and the Country, there is a plaque dedicated to her honor at the United States Navy Memorial Visitor Center.”
The family requests donations in lieu of flowers to the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society.
2:45 pm - 3:45 pm
Arlington National Cemetery-Old Post ChapelAll visitors 16 years and older are required to show a valid form of identification. Either a driver’s license or valid school ID are acceptable. Please arrive and be on base one hour prior to the start of the services. All attending friends and family are required to obtain a service pass to proceed onto base. This can either be done through the link at the end of this message or at the office when proceeding onto base. https://pass.aie.army.mil/JBMHH/
Elizabeth Ann Kenealy
May 16, 2020
Bettean is the best sister and friend anyone could ever have. She had a wonderful life, loving husband, Bill, five children, eleven grandchildren, and one great grand child. I feel very blessed to have had her my whole life. I have many memories of travels around the world with my husband, Cal, her and Bill. I will miss our many phone chats. Growing up in Hawaii, she loved this Aina with her whole heart. Aloha Nui Loa, dearest sister, A Hui Ho Ka Kou, until we meet again, I hold you in my heart forever!
May 16, 2020
so many years -- my friend! treasured memories - I will miss her! My thoughts and prayers are with Bill and the Kenealy family.
April 30, 2020
Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of your wife Betty. If memory serves, I worked for you at some period during my three years on the AIRLANT Supply staff at Naval Air Station Norfolk, 1976-1979. With best wishes to you and your family during this most difficult time.
Rod Zumbro, Captain, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)
Judy and George Bowers
April 27, 2020
We were so sad to learn of Betty's sudden passing. Although we'd known Betty for a relatively short time since coming to Greenspring, we think of her as a special friend who we will sorely miss. We loved our weekly dinners with Betty and Bill. We look forward to celebrating her long and fruitful life once things get back to normal. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bill and the entire Kenealy family.
April 26, 2020
To Kate and the Kenealy family I send my condolences and prayers. Your mother was truly one of Gods angles. It has been some years since Kate and I spoke but never forgotten.
Bless you all
April 25, 2020
Betty was more than my wife Teresa's mother, she was a role model to me. She was one of the most loving, caring, generous people that I have ever met and I learned from those wonderful characteristics. She was always there for us; I would always look forward to getting a birthday card, or a father's day card, or an anniversary card, and often just a card out of the blue letting us know she was thinking about us. Mister Rogers taught us to look for the helpers in life... Betty was a helper, a giver; she was one of a kind, and I will truly miss her. Rest in peace Betty Kenealy, thank you for all you have done for the world.
Your thankful son-in-law, Stan
April 24, 2020
Dear Kenealy Family, my heart has been hurting for all of you and I’m so sorry for your loss. Betty has touched many lives, including mine. She made me feel more like family than a friend and I cherish all the times we had together. She adored her children, grandchildren and spoke of them often but also cared enough to hear what was going on in my life with my husband and three boys. I am so thankful for the 13 years of friendship with Betty and I will always hold onto the wonderful memories we have. You all are in my prayers during this difficult time. I want to share this beautiful picture I took of her at Silver Diner. I was taking a photography class and she graciously modeled for me. I will miss you Betty, love you ❤️
April 24, 2020
Betty served our country as an EXCELLENT Executive Assistant in Human Resources in the Defense Logistics Agency, America’s premier war-fighting support Agency. Her professionalism, commitment to serving her colleagues, Agency leadership & everyone she could assist is the epitome of selfless service & a role-model for others to emulate. May she Rest In Peace....With the Utmost Respect. Betty,
You were very Special to me personally & Dearly Loved by me and All of your Human Resources Family..
April 23, 2020
We are praying for your hurting hearts and hope that all your wonderful memories comfort you -Darlene Finke and family
April 23, 2020
To the Kenealy Family, I'm so sorry for your loss. Mrs. Kenealy was always a great supporter of her family and encouraged all of the kids that surrounded her own children as well. Family was her number one priority, but you often felt as if you were part of the family if you were in her presence.
May you all find God's peace in the understanding that she is singing with the angels and Jesus now.
April 22, 2020
My heart is filled with sadness at hearing of the loss of this wonderful women. To all that survive her may your hearts be filled with the knowledge she is now at her rightful place in heaven. Grace and peace to Admiral Kenealy and all her sons, daughters and grandchildren. May your hearts rejoice in all the good works your mother performed while with us.
Being the wife of a Naval Admiral she surely has earned her place in Arlington. In time I will look for her there and place flowers while saying my peace to her.
Be well Kenealy family. I understand your loss. It never comes easy and often takes time to come home.