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Richard Laurence (Dick) Kearney Sr. was born at home on September 7, 1925 on Park Avenue now part of the Temple University campus. He was the son of the late Thomas L. Kearney Sr. and Madeline Cable and brother of the late Thomas L. Kearney, Jr. He attended LaSalle College High School until he was lured away with a full football scholarship to Brown Prep. Dick enlisted in the Navy in June 1942 while at LaSalle and reported for active duty on July 4, 1943 at the age of 17.
On January 3, 1944, Petty Officer Kearney and a companion risked their lives to aid in the rescue of three injured men from the flaming destroyer USS Turner off Sandy Hook, NJ. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, they “swam through a whirling snowstorm and icy waters to tow three painfully burned crewmembers of the Turner who were on a raft. The men had been blown into the water when the Turner exploded.” Later, Dick served as a sonarman aboard USS Thaddeus Parker in the Pacific theater.
After the war, he took his Navy electronic experience and his GI Bill and earned and Associate of Technology degree from Temple University. At this time he also served as First Sergeant, Headquarters Battery, 166th Field Artillery, Pennsylvania National Guard.
Dick worked at the then new WCAU-TV/CBS for forty years, retiring in 1990. He and his broadcast team made history when, at the Army/Navy football game in 1963, they debuted the “isolated camera,” an early version of the instant replay. Dick went on to win an Emmy Award for his team’s coverage of the 1987 Masters Golf Tournament. In 2015 Dick was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers Philadelphia’s Hall of Fame where he was Board Member Emeritus for many years.
He met Angie Luongo at St. Madeleine Sophie Church in West Mt. Airy. They recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary. In 1954 they moved to their newly constructed home in Havertown. Dick died peacefully in that home surrounded by his loving family, Richard L. Kearney, Jr. (Mel), Michael D. Kearney (Teréz), and Dennis B. Kearney (Floss). In addition to his wife and children, Dick is survived by seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and four nieces and nephews.
Dick was a member of the Philadelphia Council of the Navy League of the United States for forty years, serving as vice president and a director. He was instrumental in building membership and supporting crews of Navy and Coast Guard ships visiting Philadelphia. He also served as the Council’s Coast Guard liaison for many years. Dick was also a life member of the Destroyer Escort Sailors Association.
Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral mass 10:30 A.M. Tuesday, Oct. 9th at Sacred Heart Manoa Church, Manoa & Shelbourne Roads, Havertown, PA 19083 where friends may attend Visitation 9:30 - 10:15 A.M. at the Church. A Visitation will also be held 6:00 - 8:30 P.M. Monday evening at the Logan Funeral Home, 57 S. Eagle Road, Havertown, PA 19083. Interment Saints Peter & Paul Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to the Navy League of the United States, Philadelphia Council, 81 Holland Road, Holland, PA 18966, navyleaguephilly.org or Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, P.O. Box 2886, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004.
Navy League of the United States, Philadelphia Council
81 Holland Road, Holland PA 18966
Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
P.O. Box 2886, Bala Cynwyd PA 19004