Dr. Robert Arthur Kenefick, Ph D.

Robert Arthur “Bob” Kenefick, Professor Emeritus physics, died peacefully January 13, 2016.  His parents were Robert and Betty (Barden) Kenefick, Jr., of Syracuse NY.  His grandparents were Robert and Edith (Cantwell) Kenefick of Syracuse NY and Chester and Maude (Getman) Barden of Utica NY.

Bob shared his life joys in music and science with everyone. He began violin study with his grandfather, retired conductor of the Utica Conservatory of Music.  Then Bob studied physics with outstanding teachers at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He completed his PhD in Nuclear Physics at the Florida State University in 1962.

A man of integrity, Bob held research positions at the University of Colorado and the University of Michigan where he conducted experiments on atomic particles with Tandem Van de Graaff generators. In 1965 Bob accepted an academic appointment with Texas A&M University  (TAMU).  He assisted Professor and Director John A. McIntyre in construction oversight and safety approval by the Atomic Energy Commission of the TAMU’s Variable Energy Cyclotron.   Bob’s research, funded by federal and foundation grants in high energy atomic collision processes, included fast neutrons, ion spectroscopy traps and ion sources.  These grants fostered additional research with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Los Alamos National Laboratory.  His later research was occupied with acoustical comparisons between some of the oldest violins and modern violins.

Bob touched the lives of many students in over forty years of lectures on physics.  He supported student tennis, amateur astronomy and cycling events.   He actively supported civic organizations including KAMU public radio and television, Opera and Performing Arts Society (OPAS), Junction Five-O-Five, the B-CS Tennis Association and the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra (BVSO).  Bob served as Assistant Concertmaster of BVSO for over 20 years and, in earlier years, played the violin with the Faculty Trio, with the B-CS Community Singers, Baroque Orchestra, B-CS Chamber Orchestra and local string quartets.  Bob served as faculty sponsor for the TAMU Student Orchestra.

Robert A. Kenefick is survived by his wife and family: Kathleen, Kathryn, Robert, Margaret, son in law Scott Gibson, and brother Richard W. Kenefick of Alexandria VA.   We will miss his wide intelligence, great kindness and dedication to family, science and music.

We are especially grateful to Hospice Brazos Valley for the compassionate care and respite services.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to a favorite charity, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, or Hospice Brazos Valley.

His life will be honored during a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 13, 2016, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 305 Wellborn Rd in College Station.

For more information contact 

Callawy-Jones Funeral & Cremation Centers

3001 S College Avenue
Bryan, TX 77801
United States (US)
Phone: (979) 822-3717
Email: cjones@callawayjones.com


  1. Dear Dr. Kenefick,
    You probably don’t remember me. I was your graduate assistant sometime in the late 90’s. I am so sorry to hear about your husband. Bless your heart. I lost my husband in 2003. To this day, when I hear some song or smell something, I will tear up. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you through this. My prayers are with you and your family.

  2. I was so sorry to hear of Bob’s passing through the online Eagle obituary (we have moved to Jonestown). My thoughts are with your family at this sad time. I have very fond memories of my friendship with Bob. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do and please let me know of any memorial plans.
    Joseph Nagyvary

    • Thank you so much Joseph. Daddy admired you and thought your were an inspiration. Mom appreciates your kindness.


  3. I was an undergraduate and graduate student of Dr Kenefick’s in the early 70’s. Both my wife’s and my sincerest condolences to the family. I have nothing but the best memories of Dr Kenefick throughout my association with him. As far as I was concerned, and speaking for many of my classmates, he was the best teacher we had.

    I still remember the “Kenefick Can Count”, instituted by me, Milton Lumpkin, and Miles Yanta as a tribute to his enthusiasm in filling entire blackboards with formulae … and consistently backing into the trash can by the lecturn. It is possible, now that the statute of limitations has run out, that the can might have been strategically positioned prior to each lecture. We suspended the practice when he apparently got tired of tripping over it and kicked it out into the hall.

    Vaya con Dios.

  4. Louis and I are so sorry for your loss.
    Your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

    The Hodges family

    • Louis and I are so sorry for your loss.
      Your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time.

      The Hodges Family

    • Thank you very much Nini and Louis. You are wonderful people and friends. Mom is most grateful to have you close by.


  5. I am so sorry for your loss, and am praying for Kathleen especially, as well as the Kat, Robert and Margaret.

    Dr and Mrs. Kenefick have been dear friends of my parents, Bill and Pat Hoover. So thankful for their decades of friendship.
    Lee Ann Hoover McKinney

    • Thank you Lee Ann.
      The entire Hoover family has been truly long bonded in friendship with our family.
      Your strength and spirit are appreciated.

  6. Bob and I played tennis weekly for over 20 years.
    He was a terrific tennis player but was equally talented as a musician, physicist,
    Auto repair man etc. Truly a man of multiple talents.
    My sympathy to the family.

  7. Kat, so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I remember him being a highly competitive tennis player and always driving around in those boxy cars. My sympathy to the family.

  8. Kathleen, Robert, and Margaret,
    My condolences for this major loss to your lives. Bob was a remarkably accomplished person. He had a very important effect on my life since he came to my aid during very poor circumstances. Thus I feel his passing deeply. Your loss must feel that much greater. May time passing have a meaningful healing effect,

  9. So sorry to hear about Bob. I sill remember how Bob and Kathleen were kind enough to let me stay at their house during some hard times when i was a freshman at Texas A&M. I will always remember your kindness and hospitality. Thank you so much and please accept my condolences.

  10. Dear Katy.. Just got the news from Eva. Condolences to you and your family. Just know you are being thought of with love from an old friend.. been a long time since you were my maid of honor.. but I am still available to you, anytime.. Eva knows how to reach me.
    With love and deepest sympathy,
    Anne Parrish Jones

  11. Kathleen. I know this is the saddest time for you.
    Ricardo and I are coming to the Memorial Service.
    We are at the Holiday Inn CS
    for Fri night.
    Your phone mailbox is full.
    Hugs of sadness from Kathy Shipley

  12. Kat — Sorry to hear about your father. I remember talking to your Dad while waiting to get on the court at a tournament and the Tiger girls were playing. What recall the most was him watching you in that match with a keen eye and much pride. My condolences to the family.

    Mark Tollison

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