Obituary of John David Kenlon
John Kenlon, Sr., age 91, passed away peacefully in Manhasset, NY on January 27th, 2023. He was born August 27th, 1931 in Mt. Vernon, NY to Albert and Lillian and cherished his 58 year marriage to Maureen, who passed in 2019.
John faced long odds early in his life after losing both his parents by age 17, a heart-breaking separation from his brother, Bill, and his sister, Christine and having few prospects post high school. With grit, determination and the guidance of a few special people, he found his way to Bowling Green University with a full scholarship and subsequently secured a Master's-in-Business from Indiana University after turning down law school acceptance at Boston College.
John was a veteran of the US Army and, after being offered a position in Army Intelligence, he joined The Kendall Company. His boss always advised to make one extra sales call beyond the required daily target of 10. Late one Friday--on the 11th call-- while awaiting his appointment, John met Bill Sheffield a retired businessman – Bill was the single employee at a tiny home gardening company, Stern's Miracle-Gro.
Bill was impressed with the young salesman's diligence and offered him a job. John never left, rising to become President and Board Member of Scott's Miracle-Gro, a now multibillion-dollar NYSE listed corporation. He had a passion for and allegiance to SMG till the day he died and considered the company his second family.
A resident since 1966, John loved Manhasset and the close friends he and Maureen made. He was frequently seen around town with his best pal, Callie, and over the years acquired a new set of friends he met during his daily 4-mile walkabouts. He took genuine interest in getting to know others and was happy to lend a helping hand, if needed.
John is survived by his children and their spouses, JD and Pam, Sean and Caroline, Kerian and Eric Carlstrom and Kathleen and Dan Barry as well as 13 grandchildren and spouse, Kade and wife Peyton, Kelly, Caroline Rose and Kyle Kenlon; Brian, Sean and Erin Barry; Dylan, Magnus and Erik Reed Carlstrom; Grace, Jack and Mary Kenlon. The family was never far from his side, will miss him terribly and cherish the ten lifetimes worth of special memories he provided.
A wake will be held at Fairchild in Manhasset, 2/1, from 4-8pm and a funeral mass 11:45am on 2/2 at St. Mary's in Manhasset.
In lieu of flowers, John requested that donations be made to The Fresh Air Fund, freshair.org