Gail McBride Kenny

Date of Birth

February 23, 1954

Date of Death

January 31, 2021

Local Artist, Gail McBride Kenny passed away at Serenity House in Santa Barbara on January 31, 2021 after a long illness.
Gail was born in Houston, Texas on February 23, 1954. Growing up, Gail lived in many different parts of the country, as her father was a Navy chaplain who was reassigned every two years. Gail’s parents instilled in her a love of art and music, as well as a polite kindness that she carried with her throughout her life. In 1975, Gail came to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB.
She graduated with a BA in Oriental Art History in 1978. In 1979, she started a long career with the US Postal Service with positions in payroll, accounting, operations support and budget. She retired in 2009 serving as district budget manager. She married her longtime partner and best friend, Brian Kenny in 1986. From an early age Gail produced a variety of artworks, but her work blossomed in the late 1990's when she discovered watercolor. She developed her own style with luminous images of the world around her. Gail was a member of several local art organizations and a founding member of Women with Paint, a critique group of ten local artists. She showed her work at many local shows and was a longtime member of Gallery Los Olivos. Gail shared a love of adventure with her husband. They enjoyed travelling the world together, whether visiting the major cities of Europe, backpacking in Yosemite or sailing to the Channel Islands. Gail is survived by her husband, Brian Kenny, her sister, Dr Anne McBride of New York, her brother David McBride of Michigan, her stepmother Nancy McBride of Santa Clarita, stepsisters, Merle Pettiford and Nancy Chancellor of Santa Clarita and her stepbrother Chris Selby of Michigan. If you knew her, please keep her memory alive. Due to the current pandemic, a celebration of Gail’s life will hopefully be held on a beautiful Santa Barbara day this summer. If Gail’s gentle kindness invokes in you a feeling of generosity, please give in her memory to Serenity House/VNA Health or Ridley-Tree Cancer Center.


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