Kenneth Denston of Laurel died at Stony Brook University Medical Center on Tuesday, May 11, 2010, of injuries sustained in an accidental fire. He was 86 years old.
Mr. Denston was born on Nov. 7, 1923, in Kingston-upon-Hull, North Humberside, England, to Fanny Priscilla (nee Denston) and Herbert Basil Smith.
He served in the British Army, 4th Infantry Division, during World War II, and fought in campaigns in North Africa under Montgomery and in Italy and Greece. It was in Greece that he met his future wife, Norma DeVoucalla. He served for seven years until his honorable discharge as a lance corporal.
On Dec. 11, 1945, he married Ms. DeVoucalla in Athens, Greece. They were longtime residents of North Merrick before moving to the North Fork 17 years ago.
For over 25 years, Kenneth was an assistant principal at Brooklyn Automotive High School. He received his bachelor of science degree from SUNY/Oswego and his masters in administration from Pace University in New York City. He was a member of Phi Delta Kappa and the Council for School Supervisors and Administrators.
Kenneth was the founder and first president of the Long Island Sports Car Association and in 1951 established the first foreign car repair shop on the South Shore, known as MG Motors, specializing in British sports cars. He later established Denston and McAdams.
In his free time, he enjoyed boating with his family aboard his 36-foot Nova Scotia Sport Fisherman, known as the “Noppy.” He also enjoyed the ham radio. Having been licensed for many years, he was a member of the Peconic Amateur Ham Radio Club. Years ago, he was a professional and amateur race car driver.
He is survived by his wife, Norma; his daughters, Kathryne Natale of Sea Cliff and Beverley Netter of Cheshire, Conn.; his siblings, Grace Marion Smith, Brenda Smith, Audrey Shaw, Norman Smith, Margaret Shaw, and John William Smith, all of Hull, Yorkshire, England, Lily Bontoft of Beverley, England, and Kathleen Schaefer of Elmont, N.Y.; six grandchildren: Nicole Netherland, Kenneth Michael Denston, Erika Jean Netter, Jennifer Leigh Gilligan, Thomas Lawrence Natale Jr. and Veronica Natale; six great-grandchildren: Patrick Gilligan, Emma Jean Gilligan, Brielle Nicole Natale, Mary Jane Gilligan, Thomas Ayden Natale and Veronica Rose Gilligan; and cousins Margaret and Peter Denston of Beverley, England. He was predeceased by a son, Kenneth T. Denston, and a brother, Donald Smith.
The family received friends Sunday, May 16, at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Mattituck. Funeral services were held Monday, May 17, at Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Mattituck, where he was a member. The Rev. Nils Blatz, vicar, officiated. Interment was at Pinelawn Memorial Park.