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a great leader. He always tried to build consensus so the best decision could be made and we could all follow through to get things done. He embraced diversity and was an outstanding ambassador because he was considerate and caring regardless of another person’s station in life.” Jill Kirk “Those of us involved with Sister Cities had many opportunities to travel with Dennis. On one trip, I joined Dennis, Vicki Escuton and Marilyn Librers for a Sister City event in Washington D.C. We drove around the capitol one night and Dennis played tour guide, pointing out all the national monuments and sharing what he knew about their history. He was excited to be there and proud of our country. At the Smithsonian Museum we had fun posing among statues of famous people we admired. The statue of Rosa Parks was one of Dennis’s favorites.” “When Dennis could no longer drive because of the side effects of his chemo- therapy, he liked to call on my teenage grandson Kevin. They developed a special bond. Recently Kevin told me how his high school friends often came along for the ride. Dennis wanted to know how their lives were going and what they thought about the world. He had such respect for the boys and they returned it in kind.” 88 “Every once in a while I find myself wanting to pick up the phone and call Dennis to share a funny story. My friend- ship with him has made me a better person. I’m going to miss him so much.” John and Michelle McKay “Dennis was like family to my wife Michelle and me. We spent many birth- days and family holidays together. He had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed trying new things. If someone had an idea for an outing, Dennis would say, ‘Count me in!’ He showed his friends how to live in the moment, and that’s a rare gift.” “Dennis sometimes joined Marty Cheek, Michelle and I on day trips. No matter where we went, he struck up conversations with other people, introducing himself by saying, ‘Hi, I’m Dennis Kennedy from Morgan Hill.’ He had a natural curiosity about people and their way of thinking, and was quick to talk about his love for Morgan Hill.” “I got to know Dennis through the Morgan Hill Tourism Alliance and then the Morgan Hill Downtown Association. He encouraged me to get involved with a great group of people like Edith Ramirez who were focused on promoting Morgan Hill as a destination city.” “Dennis liked to think BIG and he urged others to do the same. He would say, GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY / AUGUST 2016 ‘Establish the vision now, then execute on the plan . . . it may take a long time and that’s okay but you’ve got to start the ball rolling.’” “Long before plans were made, Dennis was excited about downtown projects that are just now coming to fruition. He was a tremendous resource in terms of under- standing how things work and who to go to for support in Morgan Hill, and he knew how to bring people together to get things done. Dennis was not one to push his opinion on others. I only wish I had asked his opinion more often.” Kathy Sullivan “Dennis created a legacy that I’m sure will live on in Morgan Hill. I first met him while I was running for the school board. My friends urged me to get an endorsement from a community leader. I was new to this kind of thing and I figured, why not call the mayor? It didn’t occur to me that this was a presumptuous thing to do. But Dennis took my call, invited me to talk about my back- ground and asked a few questions. He said he’d check into the matter and get back to me. The very next day he called and offered to endorse me. Even after I was elected, Dennis wanted to know how I was doing. He was a true public servant who enjoyed helping people.” “He was reserved and polite yet such gmhtoday.com