William “Bill” Kennelly, born May 29, 1966, passed away June 12 surrounded by his family and friends. After battling several illnesses over the past seven years, he succumbed to a traumatic brain injury suffered the week before.
Bill served with the Middletown Police Department for 25 years, was a lifetime member of the Lincroft Fire Company and rose to the rank of chief with the Middletown Township Fire Department. Most recently he was on the board of directors as well as the recruitment board for the Waxhaw Volunteer Fire Department in Waxhaw, North Carolina where he relocated with his family after his retirement from the police department in 2012.
Although the police department was his primary job, his heart was always with the fire department. Bill would work his eight-hour shift with the police department and then go fight or direct a fire scene for 10 hours and be back at work the next day.
In addition to being loyal to the police and fire departments, he was a devoted husband, father and son, as well as a T-ball, softball and baseball coach for his children and a volunteer football coach for middle and high school programs. Bill was a friend to many and had a unique “country-ism vocabulary” which earned him the nickname of “Big Country.”
Bill led a simple life, wanting nothing but his family, friends and, of course, his fire pager. He was jealous of no one and disliked by no one. He is survived by his wife of 18 years, Donna; three children, Carrington, William and the “baby” Samantha; and his parents, Lucy and William Kennelly Sr.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be made in Bill’s memory to the Coach Bill Kennelly Scholarship Fund c/o Waxhaw Fire Department, P.O. Box 1258 Waxhaw, NC 28173.
Bill reposed at the Evergreen Memorial Funeral Home, Middletown, June 15. A Mass of Christian Burial took place June 16 at The Church of Saint Catherine Labouré.
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