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King Kullen Grocery Co. Co-Chairman Bernard Kennedy Dies At 92

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Last updated on February 27th, 2018 at 09:11 am

King Kullen Grocery Co. Co-Chairman and former President Bernard D. Kennedy passed away Feb. 17 at his home in Point Lookout, New York. The announcement was made by Kennedy’s sons, King Kullen Co-President J. Donald Kennedy and King Kullen Secretary and General Counsel Bernard P. Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy was 92.

Bernard D. Kennedy
Bernard D. Kennedy

The second generation of four generations of Kennedys that have served King Kullen over its 88-year history, Kennedy spent his entire career at King Kullen. According to King Kullen Co-President Brian Cullen, for more than 70 years Kennedy contributed in countless ways to the continued success of the company.

“He is responsible for many of the merchandising and marketing changes and improvements we have made over the years and personally oversaw countless details that enhanced our offering in the marketplace,” said Cullen.

Beyond the efforts Mr. Kennedy made in our stores, he made a difference with the leadership and guidance he provided to our management and employees. As well as having a sharp mind for business, Mr. Kennedy had an unwavering moral compass that set the standard for the operating practices we embrace today. We were fortunate to have him in our midst, and he will be missed.”

Born June 27, 1925, in Syracuse, Mr. Kennedy was the son of J. Donald Kennedy and Gertrude Cullen Kennedy. He was raised in St. Albans and Hollis, Queens, and graduated from Chaminade High School, a Catholic boys’ high school in Mineola, New York in 1943. During World War II, Mr. Kennedy served in the Navy as a gunner on a ship in the North Atlantic. He returned to New York after he was discharged in May 1946. In 1949, he married Dorothy Bloodgood.

Mr. Kennedy’s career at King Kullen began in 1949 in an entry-level office position. He worked various jobs, including buyer, assistant VP and VP for merchandising, before becoming president, a position he held from 1984 to 1998. He remained co-chairman of the board until his death.

Mr. Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in marketing from St. John’s University in 1954. He took night classes to earn a degree from St. John’s law school four years later.

“One of my father’s lesser-known avocations was writing operas,” said Bernard P. Kennedy. “He had several productions performed locally. He also enjoyed fishing and was an avid golfer.”

Mr. Kennedy volunteered for several nonprofit organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, where he spearheaded the acquisition of Mashomack Preserve, a 2,039-acre property on Shelter Island, New York; St. John’s University President’s Council; and the former Long Beach Medical Center, where he was the board president for years.

In addition to wife Dorothy and sons J. Donald Kennedy and Bernard P. Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy is survived by his children Maura LaBella of Point Lookout, New York; Terence Kennedy of River Forest, Illinois; and Dr. Eugene Kennedy of Summit, New Jersey. He also leaves 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

King Kullen was founded by Mr. Kennedy’s uncle, Michael Cullen, in 1930. Today King Kullen operates 32 supermarkets and five Wild by Nature stores on Long Island. 


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