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Robert Lee Kerney Jr. retired GM auto worker, dies

Feb. 4, 1935 – Jan. 1, 2016

Robert Lee Kerney Jr., of Buffalo, a retired auto worker, died Jan. 1 in Buffalo. He was 80.

Born in Aberdeen, Miss., he served in the Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa. Returning from service, he came to Buffalo and worked for General Motors in the Chevrolet plant and the Tonawanda engine plant for 35 years.

Standing 6 foot, 4 inches tall, Mr. Kerney was known as “Big Bob” and was a fitness enthusiast. His primary hobby was running and he would run up to 10 miles a day in Delaware Park. When age prevented him from running, he continued to take daily walks in the park. He also was a member of the Buffalo Polar Bear Club and took the club’s annual plunge into frigid Lake Erie.

Well-versed in current events, he also loved blues music and animals.

His first wife, the former Rosie Pouncey, died in 2013. He was remarried to the former Evelyn L. Palmer.

In addition to his wife, survivors include two daughters, Dr. Angel L. and Tricia Kerney-Willis.

A memorial service will be private.

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