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a warm person at the same time. It might have been that Midwestern influence from his upbringing, I don’t know. He and Bernie Mulligan had a friendship like two brothers. Even though the two of them were political opposites, they could debate issues while respecting each other’s views. I saw that same quality in Dennis in community work. When people got stuck on an issue he lis- tened to both sides and looked for the com- mon ground to understand how they could work out a solution together.” “I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years and I’ve been with patients when they received a grim prognosis. Dennis was a true optimist. He had always led a healthy, active life- style and he had every intention of beating his cancer. He dealt with the disease with great dignity. In those difficult moments, riding home from Stanford Hospital after receiving bad news from the doctors, Dennis focused on making his family and friends feel comfortable. He was generous with his attention and affection for others. Dennis was, in the truest sense of the word, beloved.” thought how nice it would be if our local symphony had a bigger following and support for a longer performance season. We got some people together and created the Friends of the South Valley Symphony, held some fundraisers, and were gratified to see membership grow.” “Dennis was a unique, special man, a perpetually cheerful spirit. His passing has been a major loss to me personally and what a big heart he had for our community.” Jerry Dommer Swanee Edwards “I first met Dennis at Rotary and we quickly struck up a friendship. As an architect and developer, I had dealt with Parsons Engineering, and Dennis had worked there for a time. I helped design the IBM facility on Bailey Road where Dennis was employed before entering public service here in Morgan Hill.” “We were also golf buddies. We played the golf courses in Gilroy, Gavilan, Eagle Ridge and Coyote Creek and at Rotary Club tournaments. Dennis liked to improve his golf game and be competitive but for him it was more about fun, exercise and camaraderie. Golf provides lots of time for discussion, and we talked about everything from the community welfare of Morgan Hill to sports, music, politics, and more.” “When he ran for a position on the Santa Clara Valley Water District board, Dennis asked me to be his campaign treasurer. He was very concerned about our precious water resources, particularly during the long drought. Good stewardship was at the top of his platform and his professional engineering background made him well- suited for the position.” “We both enjoyed the symphony and gmh TODAY had the opportunity to inter- view Dennis Kennedy in early 2015. You can read the story online at https://issuu.com/ jcljm/docs/01_gmhto- day_2015_march. “I helped Dennis with his mayoral and water district election campaigns. He always put integrity first, never wanting to lose the public’s trust in him. During the water district race some information came to me that would have been damaging to his opponent. Dennis had no interest in running attack ads. He said ‘I don’t work that way, I want to win on my own merits.’ And that’s what he did.” A Legacy of Public Service MORGAN HILL Leadership Centennial Recreation Center Chamber of Commerce Community and Cultural Center Community Foundation Community Playhouse Dennis Kennedy Aquatics Center Downtown Association Library Rotary Club Sister Cities SANTA CLARA County Cities Association Valley Transportation Authority Valley Water District SILICON VALLEY Leadership Forum SOUTH COUNTY Regional Wastewater Authority Bernie Mulligan “I miss my friend of almost 40 years. He was truly ‘the Mayor’ wherever he went. Dennis and I were fortunate to have visited all five of Morgan Hill’s Sister Cities. We also share a heritage of Irish descent, and during our stays in Ireland, Dennis and I were accepted and treated not just as friends, but as family. Dennis treated every person with an egalitarian manner and the Irish held him close to their hearts. I received over fifty sympathy emails from our friends in Ireland honoring my friend.” “I will miss him for the rest of my life. In Gaelic we would say, ‘Slainte Dennis’ . . . cheers to you on your journey, wherever the afterlife takes you.”  GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN JULY / AUGUST 2016 gmhtoday.com 89