george kennedy - fuller brush man
Holocaust survivor from Hungary George Kennedy (born Gyorgy Ungar) died Sept. 1 at age 86
1965 oil on canvas 101.6 x 89.6cm
collection of diane and david goldsmith orinda california
provenance estate of alice neel, 1984 to owner, through the robert miller gallery, new york 1984
This man came to Neel's door selling Fuller Brushes.
During the course of their conversations she learned that he was a survivor of a Nazi concentration camp.
source: Alice Neel book by philadelphia museum of art isbn 0876331398
Kennedy, George Kennedy, George Holocaust survivor and founder of George A Kennedy and Assoc Engineers
Beloved husband of Marilyn 'Bunny' (nee Dubin) Loving father of Nancy (Jim) Barnett, Sue (Jim) Spinello and the late Andrea Kennedy. Proud grandfather of David, Joey and Ricky Barnett, Alison, Michael, Jeffrey and Brian Spinello. Fond brother-in-law of Howard (the late Ursula) S. Dubin. Services were held Friday at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road, Northfield, IL 60093. Interment Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals, (847)229-882
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Chicago Tribune writes:
Immigrant, engineer built a solid foundation in the U.S.
Spoke often of his experiences in the Holocaust
George Kennedy ran an engineering company that in the 1980s was hired by the owners of the Chicago White Sox to determine the viability of old Comiskey Park.
The verdict: Comiskey wasn't worth saving. It was no doubt a valid assessment, but a blow to traditionalists, and sparked a lively debate across the South Side and beyond.
"It was a very short 15 minutes of celebrity," said his wife, Marilyn "Bunny" Kennedy.
Mr. Kennedy, 86, died on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Evanston Hospital, following a fall in which he hit his head, according to his wife.
Mr. Kennedy's firm at one point declared that Comiskey was falling apart, prompting aldermen in 1986 to call for the ballpark to be shut down. A city inspector refuted the Kennedy & Associates report, and games continued to be played at 35th and Shields, although the park's days were clearly numbered.
Comiskey Park was eventually razed after U.S. Cellular Field was completed across 35th Street.
Mr. Kennedy, who was Jewish, was born Gyorgy Ungar and grew up in Hungary. During World War II, he spent a year in a Hungarian work camp.
In recent years, he spoke regularly about his experiences during the Holocaust, sometimes through the Illinois Holocaust Museum, telling thousands of children about the horrors of that era, his family said.
"If it wasn't told, it could be repeated," his wife said. "He felt it was important for children to know."
According to a speech Mr. Kennedy gave at Texas A&M University, his alma mater, he was ordered to the work camp to dig ditches and cut down trees, working at least 10 hours a day without proper clothing or equipment.
Mr. Kennedy was one of only three members of his extended family to survive the Holocaust, his wife said.
Mr. Kennedy arrived in the United States from Budapest in 1947 after he received a scholarship to attend Texas A&M from the organization B'nai B'rith Hillel, his wife said. Before coming, he chose two possible new surnames out of a phone book, Gordon and Kennedy. A coin flip settled the matter.
Mr. Kennedy came to the Midwest to attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating in 1950, Mr. Kennedy moved to Chicago, his wife said.
In 1955, Mr. Kennedy, tired of working for others, decided to open up his own engineering firm, George A. Kennedy & Associates. The name initially was a bit of hyperbole.
"He was the George Kennedy, and I was the associates," his wife said.
The firm expanded and adjusted its services throughout the years in order to meet industry demands, Gorun said. Some of its services included structural engineering and inspections.
"He had this niche to see a need for certain areas of the market," said Gorun of Mr. Kennedy's ability to grow the firm, which has clients across the country.
Mr. Kennedy is also survived by two daughters, Nancy Barnett and Susan Spinello, and seven grandchildren.
Services have been held.
bschlikerman -at- tribune.com