Friday, March 25, 2011

george kennedy - fuller brush man

Holocaust survivor from Hungary George Kennedy (born Gyorgy Ungar) died Sept. 1 at age 86

1965 oil on canvas 101.6 x 89.6cm
collection of diane and david goldsmith orinda california
provenance estate of alice neel, 1984 to owner, through the robert miller gallery, new york 1984
This man came to Neel's door selling Fuller Brushes.
During the course of their conversations she learned that he was a survivor  of a Nazi concentration camp.
source: Alice Neel book by philadelphia museum of art isbn 0876331398

Kennedy, George Kennedy, George Holocaust survivor and founder of George A Kennedy and Assoc Engineers
Beloved husband of Marilyn 'Bunny' (nee Dubin) Loving father of Nancy
(Jim) Barnett, Sue (Jim) Spinello and the late Andrea Kennedy. Proud grandfather of David, Joey and Ricky Barnett, Alison, Michael, Jeffrey and Brian Spinello. Fond brother-in-law of Howard (the late Ursula) S. Dubin. Services were held Friday at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ Road, Northfield, IL 60093. Interment Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals, (847)229-882

George Kennedy Guest Book | View 2 of 7 Entries:

"I am devastated at the loss of my dear uncle. I live in Australia so have not seen him too much but will miss him terribly. I enjoyed very much corresponding with him on the computer. A very very..." - Francesca Stanton
"Bunny and Family, Marc and I have been in Florida since September. We are devastated at your loss. George will always have a special place in our hearts. Walking partners with you at Multiplex and..." - anonymous

Chicago Tribune writes:

Immigrant, engineer built a solid foundation in the U.S.

Spoke often of his experiences in the Holocaust

September 20, 2010  By Becky Schlikerman, Tribune reporter

George Kennedy ran an engineering company that in the 1980s was hired by the owners of the Chicago White Sox to determine the viability of old Comiskey Park.

The verdict: Comiskey wasn't worth saving. It was no doubt a valid assessment, but a blow to traditionalists, and sparked a lively debate across the South Side and beyond.

"It was a very short 15 minutes of celebrity," said his wife, Marilyn "Bunny" Kennedy.

Mr. Kennedy, 86, died on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Evanston Hospital, following a fall in which he hit his head, according to his wife.

Mr. Kennedy's firm, George A. Kennedy & Associates, was hired in the 1980s to compile annual reports on the state of Comiskey Park for the White Sox, said Alex Gorun, Kennedy & Associates' president.

Mr. Kennedy's firm at one point declared that Comiskey was falling apart, prompting aldermen in 1986 to call for the ballpark to be shut down. A city inspector refuted the Kennedy & Associates report, and games continued to be played at 35th and Shields, although the park's days were clearly numbered.

Comiskey Park was eventually razed after U.S. Cellular Field was completed across 35th Street.

Mr. Kennedy, who was Jewish, was born Gyorgy Ungar and grew up in Hungary. During World War II, he spent a year in a Hungarian work camp.

In recent years, he spoke regularly about his experiences during the Holocaust, sometimes through the Illinois Holocaust Museum, telling thousands of children about the horrors of that era, his family said.

"If it wasn't told, it could be repeated," his wife said. "He felt it was important for children to know."

According to a speech Mr. Kennedy gave at Texas A&M University, his alma mater, he was ordered to the work camp to dig ditches and cut down trees, working at least 10 hours a day without proper clothing or equipment.

Mr. Kennedy was one of only three members of his extended family to survive the Holocaust, his wife said.

Mr. Kennedy arrived in the United States from Budapest in 1947 after he received a scholarship to attend Texas A&M from the organization B'nai B'rith Hillel, his wife said. Before coming, he chose two possible new surnames out of a phone book, Gordon and Kennedy. A coin flip settled the matter.

Mr. Kennedy came to the Midwest to attend graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. After graduating in 1950, Mr. Kennedy moved to Chicago, his wife said.

In 1955, Mr. Kennedy, tired of working for others, decided to open up his own engineering firm, George A. Kennedy & Associates. The name initially was a bit of hyperbole.

"He was the George Kennedy, and I was the associates," his wife said.

The firm expanded and adjusted its services throughout the years in order to meet industry demands, Gorun said. Some of its services included structural engineering and inspections.

"He had this niche to see a need for certain areas of the market," said Gorun of Mr. Kennedy's ability to grow the firm, which has clients across the country.

Mr. Kennedy is also survived by two daughters, Nancy Barnett and Susan Spinello, and seven grandchildren.

Services have been held.

bschlikerman -at-

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Gordon Quinn Photo

Gordon Quinn & Howard Reich at Tivoli Theater

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Gordon Quinn - Alice Neel

Prisoner of Her Past - New York City Premiere

April 7, 2011 - 6:30pm

The Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City, NY

The Museum of Jewish Heritage presents the New York City Premiere of Prisoner of Her Past.

On the night of February 15, 2001, Sonia Reich fled her home in Skokie, Illinois, insisting that someone was trying to kill her -- to "put a bullet in [her] head," she told anyone who would listen. It would take a year for her son, Chicago Tribune journalist Howard Reich, to understand why she was running the streets of Skokie, fearing for her life.

Prisoner of Her Past tracks Howard's journey across the United States and Eastern Europe to discover why his mother believes - to this day - that the world has conspired to try to execute her.

As Howard eventually learned, Sonia has late-onset Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a little-known but extremely debilitating illness that has pushed her into the realm of delusion. At the same time, however, Sonia remains fully aware of her surroundings, totally alert to the world, thoroughly cognizant of the present.

She has no hints of Alzheimer's disease or any form of dementia. On the contrary, as one doctor told Howard, "Dementia would be a relief for your mother, because then she wouldn't remember."

Unfortunately, Sonia's horrific childhood fleeing the Nazis -- about which she told Howard virtually nothing when he was growing up -- has come back to haunt her. She believes that yellow Stars of David have been sewn to her clothes, that doctors and nurses are trying to poison her, that her grandchildren have been taken away.

Past and present merge in Sonia's perceptions, and Howard sets out to discover why. He locates the few experts in the world who can explain the obscure phenomenon of late-onset PTSD, and he travels to the city of Sonia's birth, in Ukraine, to uncover the horrors that now haunt his mother.

But Prisoner of Her Past ventures beyond Sonia's story, to show what can be done to help traumatized children today. The film looks in particular at the victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, an area of special interest to Howard, who's the Chicago Tribune's jazz critic. Some are benefiting from psychiatric awareness and techniques unavailable when Sonia and children of her generation were shattered.

Prisoner of Her Past makes it clear that if childhood trauma victims, from New Orleans to Darfur, are not helped, they will be retracing Sonia's steps 60 years from now.

A discussion will follow the screening, with filmmakers Gordon Quinn and Howard Reich, and special guest Yuval Neria, PhD, Director, Trauma and PTSD Program and Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University. Get more information.  Free, with suggested donation
George Kennedy

Alice Neel Portrait, he came top her door as a dorr-to-door saleman, than sat for a portrait.
This portrait is now published in a book of Alice Neil's paintings

WARHOL (1928-1987), American painter (he has a war wound that never healed, kept a compress on it)
Portrait: Alice Neel

Alice Neel harlem studio

selt portrait at age 80.  "i takes guts to paint yourself like that"

Alice Neel (January 28, 1900 – October 13, 1984) was an American artist known for her oil on canvas portraits of friends, family, lovers, poets, artists and strangers. Her paintings are notable for their expressionistic use of line and color, psychological acumen, and emotional intensity.

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