OBIT: James Kenney, Dentist, Photographer, Long-time Resident

After a great life, long-time Palisadian James Paul Kenney died on November 9 at the age of 88.

He was born in Los Angeles on May 15, 1935. As a young kid, Jim spent a few years in San Angleo, Texas, where his father was stationed in the Air Force. Otherwise, he lived his whole life in Los Angeles.

He attended Emerson Junior High and University High School, before attending UCLA.

Jim was accepted to the USC School of Dentistry after only two years of undergraduate work. A friendly person, he had a knack for making life-long friendships at every school he attended.

He spent 1958-60 in the Air Force, stationed in Japan. He said that this turned out to be one of the best experiences of his life, as he immersed himself in the culture, became conversational in Japanese, and developed his passion for photography.

In the early 1960s, he took over his father’s dental practice in Westwood, which he built upon. Later he moved the practice to Santa Monica. Throughout those years, he also taught classes at the USC School of Dentistry, which he enjoyed very much. He retired in 1996.

In 1964, Jim married Carole Lynn and they moved to Pacific Palisades. Together they worked hand in hand creating a beautiful, unique and magical home, filled with antiques she collected that he worked into the structure of the house.

They shared a strong love for each other, their children, dogs, extended families and friends.

After a friend introduced Jim to hiking in the early 70s, it became one of his greatest joys in life.

Hiking led to his love of wildflower photography, and he learned everything there was to know about the Santa Monica Mountains. He was an active member in the Temescal Canyon Association.

His love of hiking led him to spend years with a volunteer group, building and maintaining trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.

One of his proudest accomplishments was being the photographer for the book, Wildflowers of the Santa Monica Mountains. He also contributed to several other publications about the Santa Monica Mountains and wrote and photographed for local newspapers.

In the early 2000s his photography went from wildflowers to birds of the Malibu Lagoon, where he spent most of his mornings. He became a member of the Santa Monica Bay Audubon Society.

Over the years Jim lectured for many nonprofit organizations about the Santa Monica Mountains, wildflowers and local birds, sharing his vast knowledge and beautiful photographs. He earned many fans who followed his work.

He was loved by all — the epitome of a good guy, a loyal friend, great neighbor, amazing husband, father, and dog lover. Not to mention, he had an incredible sense of humor!

He is survived by his son John Kenney, daughter Valentina Kenney Wein, son-in-law Stephen Wein, his two grandsons Mason and Zack Wein, who thought the world of him, his dog Annabelle, his wonderful and loving extended family, and some truly amazing friends and neighbors.

He was an incredible presence, and he will be deeply missed.

Services will be private. If you want to remember Jim, the family said he would have loved contributions to the Temescal Canyon Association, which supports the preservation and enjoyment of the canyon and its surroundings.

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