Passings: Carole Lynn Kenney, 81; Activist, Interior Designer

Longtime Palisadian Carole Lynn Kenney passed away on July 29 at the age of 81.

Born in Chicago on April 9, 1936, Carole came to Los Angeles with her family in 1947. After graduating from University High School, she went with two friends to Europe for three months and returned with a deep appreciation for meaningful architecture. She attended the Otis Art Institute, then worked for an independent design studio in Westwood. Soon after this she began writing columns for the L.A. Times Home Magazine that focused on “pop” decorating.

Always fascinated by art and architecture, she ultimately began a career in interior design with the formation of Carole Lynn Interiors.

Carole Lynn Kenney
Carole Lynn Kenney

Her first love was the use of recycled materials from residential and commercial demolition sites; she made many visits to wrecking yards. Her work included collections of stained-glass windows, oak beams, gorgeous light fixtures, solid oak doors and tiles from the early 20th century.

In late 1964, Carole married Jim Kenney. Though they were in the same 1953 class at University High School, they had not known each other at the time. In 1965, they moved to Pacific Palisades, where Carole became active in the community.

She lobbied hard to prevent construction of the proposed cross-mountain highway from Reseda to the sea through Temescal Canyon.

In 1974, Carole was a co-founder of Palisades Beautiful, an organization that has since been responsible for the planting of more than 2,000 parkway trees. She was honored for her work to beautify the Palisades with a Golden Sparkplug Award from the Community Council in 2003.

Her death on July 29 was long expected, after many years of suffering with advanced Parkinson’s disease. She leaves behind, in addition to her husband Jim, her adored children, John Kenney and Valentina Kenney Wein; her sister Roberta Stone; her niece Beth Fulton and two wonderful grandsons, Mason and Zack Wein.

There was no funeral, but there will be a memorial gathering at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 26 at Carole’s home. For details, contact:

Carole would have loved contributions to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which supports Parkinson’s disease research.

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