Christopher J. Kenney, 46, formerly of Clayton

CLAYTON, NY — Christopher J. Kenney, 46, Canton, Ohio, formerly of Clayton, passed away peacefully on Dec. 24, 2019, under Hospice care after battling cancer.

Chris, born Oct. 20, 1973, the son of David and Jean Kenney of Clayton, was a 1992 graduate of Thousand Islands Central School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Music from St. Lawrence University and a Master of Arts in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.

He married Kimberly Beach in her hometown of Rome, NY, on Sept. 2, 2000.

In 2001 he became Director of Education at the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio.

Chris had many interests: Open hearth cooking and antique cars led to fundraisers for the museum. He was a gifted pianist and earned his private pilots license at an early age. Chris enjoyed taking his 1969 Oldsmobile Convertible 442 or his 1951 Chevy truck – Matilda – to car shows.

Never losing his love of the river, Chris spent part of his vacation each year at the St. Lawrence River. Whether boating or just sitting on the porch of the family cottage at Arcadia Park, he said this was the only place where he could truly relax.

Chris was the author of three books about President McKinley, the monument and the museum. He recently completed an article for White House History, the journal of the White House Historical Association. As Director of Education he organized and gave tours of the museum and monument. School groups made up the bulk of the tours. Chris also presented programs in Canton and surrounding areas. He represented the museum at local and state organizations and received state recognition for some of his programs.

Besides his parents, Chris is survived by his wife Kimberly, Canton, Ohio and his sister and brother-in-law, Heather and Brian Huntley and their children Olivia, Parker, Mikenna, and Carson of Potsdam, New York.

A celebration of life was held December 29 at the museum.

Contributions in his name may be made to McKinley Museum and National Memorial, attention Christopher J. Kenney Memorial Bus Scholarship Fund, 800 McKinley Monument Dr. NW, Canton, OH 44708-4800. This grant will provide funds to schools that can’t afford field trip busing.

Local online condolences may be posted at