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Former Mount Kisco Mayor Henry Kensing Dead at 83

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Former Mount Kisco Mayor Henry Kensing died last Monday at 83.
Former Mount Kisco Mayor Henry Kensing died last Monday at 83.

Henry Kensing’s devotion to Mount Kisco extended far beyond his more than 30 years of service in elected office. He cared deeply about helping a wide variety of the village’s residents and local organizations.

Kensing, a lifelong village resident, died of cancer on Oct. 24. He was 83. Affectionately known as “Hank” or “The Mayor,” he died surrounded by friends and family.

Last week he was remembered fondly as a key and influential figure in Mount Kisco during the last half-century. Mayor Michael Cindrich said Kensing “was Mount Kisco’s most distinguished resident.”

“Hank set the bar for those in public service to emulate,” Cindrich said. “Hank’s public service spanned four decades starting in the ‘60s and ending in the ‘90s. He remained active helping those in (need) until his death.”

He was also “a man of stature, dignity and compassion” who was revered for his loyalty to his family, profession, faith and the people of Mount Kisco, Cindrich said.

A highly successful corporate attorney, Kensing was best known in Mount Kisco for his lifetime of public service to his hometown. He was a village trustee from 1963 to 1967, before serving as mayor from 1967 to 1981. He also served as a town justice from 1990 to 2005.

He concluded his corporate career as vice president and general counsel for Dynamics Corporation of America. He retired in 1998.

But Kensing was active in civic life in addition to his service in local government. Among the many organizations he volunteered for included the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Northern Westchester Hospital, Mount Kisco Day Care Center, A-Home, Open Door Family Medical Centers and Neighbors Link.

Following his retirement, he opened a law practice in Mount Kisco and began a second career as a local lawyer and advocate, working primarily on behalf of the underserved and disadvantaged in need of legal and social services.

Jerri Rosenfeld, a friend and frequent collaborator, called him a “one-man social services agency.”

Kensing donated his time to Allied Community Enterprises (ACE), an organization that advocates for and develops affordable housing in Westchester. He was serving on its board at the time of his death.

ACE Executive Director Joan Arnold said Kensing helped broker numerous affordable housing projects throughout the county, often doing so in the face of contentious battles with communities. But Kensing always remained calm and judicial, she said.

“He did so much for the entire community,” Arnold said. “He did so much for affordable housing and in particular ACE. His offices were our offices; his opinions benefited ACE’s work.”

Kensing was born on June 1, 1933, to Howard and Susan Kensing. His parents were the first couple to be married in the then new St. Francis Church. He graduated from Regis High School in 1951 and Fordham University in 1955, and served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957, attaining the rank of first lieutenant.

Following his honorable discharge, Kensing entered Harvard Law School and graduated cum laude in 1960. He was admitted to the New York State Bar later that year.

He married Eileen Murphy on Sept. 6, 1969.

“Eileen’s devotion to him throughout his life, and in particular throughout his difficult illness, will forever stand as an example of selfless and pure love in the minds and hearts of their children Brian, Edward (“Ned”), and Sean,” his obituary stated.

Kensing was a devoted parishioner of Saint Francis Church, faithfully attending services his entire life.

Kensing is survived by his wife; his son, Ned, and daughter-in-law Nicole and son Sean and daughter-in-law Vanessa; son Brian and daughter-in-law Allis and their children Ava and Brianna; his brother, Howard (“Rub”), and sister-in-law Eileen and their son Michael; his sister, Anne; and many cousins, nephews and nieces and other extended family all over the United States and in Ireland. Kensing was predeceased by his sister, Susan Arnold, and nephew Timothy Kensing.

Afternoon and evening wakes were held at Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home in Mount Kisco on Friday, Oct. 28. A funeral Mass took place on Saturday at St. Francis Church.

In lieu of flowers, Kensing’s family requested that donations be made to the Ken Hamilton Caregivers Center at Northern Westchester Hospital or to the Northern Westchester Hospital Cancer Treatment & Wellness Center.



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