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William Francis Kenney Jr. was the first of five born to a New York City high school swimming teacher and his stay-at-home wife. They lived in Richmond Hill, a neighborhood in Queens famous as the home of New York Yankee star Phil Rizzuto.
Bill was also interested in baseball, having played on the St. John’s Prep team that won the New York City championship and spent two seasons on the team at Yale while earning a degree in Chemical Engineering. .
While getting a Master’s Degree at Purdue he met fellow student Mary Megna. Two years later they married and she became the mother of their nine children.
Eventually Bill’s engineering career led him to Exxon Chemical Company in New Jersey. After a tour as head of the company’s energy conservation technology program, he transferred to the company plant in Linden, NJ, where he managed the plant’s environmental and process safety program. Some of that experience formed the basis for the story chronicled in “Victims of the Past.”
Meanwhile, he continued his athletic activities by officiating high school and college basketball games, coaching Little League baseball and helping several daughters improve their tennis game.
During his engineering career he published two text books, and a series of encyclopedia articles, His writing soon expanded into the athletic arena with articles about basketball refereeing in national publications devoted to sports officiating.
The smooth sailing came to a halt when Mary was diagnosed with leukemia. She died after a three-year fight, leaving two teenage boys still at home. Bill says, “We all just put one foot in front of the other for a couple of years until we all got our lives together again.”
After early retirement, Bill began to write fiction and some poetry. Several short pieces were published and he turned to novels, learning from a couple of failures before producing “Victims.”
These days Bill spends his time writing, (another novel with the protagonists of “Victims” is well under way), watching several of his twenty-three grandchildren’s athletic and theatrical achievements, teaching would-be referees the rules of basketball, and hitting golf balls into the nearest water hazard.