Glendale Kiwanis club honors its ‘most important member’ with memorial bench at local playground

Bench Naming
Max Parrott/QNS

The Kiwanis Club of Glendale commemorated a bench at Dry Harbor Playground in Glendale on April 27 in memory of Michael “Mick” Ennis, a beloved club member and community fixture.

Several members of the club along with Ennis’ daughter Kerry gave speeches commemorating the former club president, who died on Nov. 1, 2016.

Ennis, who led the club in 1988, was remembered by his colleagues for his “magnetic personality,” which helped draw dozens of members into the club during his long membership before he moved to Arizona later in life.

“He was probably the most important member our club ever had in its 66 years,” said Bob Kueber, the treasurer of the Glendale club.

“One memory I have is walking the Memorial Day Parade in Glendale with him,” said Tony Sauro, the current president of the club. “His hand never went down. He must have known everyone there. I said, ‘They ought to call you the mayor.’ He said, ‘They do.’”

Max Parrott/QNS

The bench, which sits catty corner to a memorial to local victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, was chosen to reflect Ennis’ life of service. He served in the U.S. Navy before joining the New York City Fire Department.

“FDNY and Glendale were his life,” said his daughter Kerry. “And he’s with us because the sun is shining. He even got me a parking spot,” she said to a burst of laughter from those gathered.

After retiring as a firefighter, Ennis worked as the sports editor of the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly for many years. Ennis loved playing softball, and coaching athletics for the Catholic Youth Organization, which now holds a scholarship in his name, Kueber said.

After moving to Carefree, Arizona with his wife Marilyn, he joined the Kiwanis club there in addition to serving on the Carefree Chamber of Commerce. He was known in the Kiwanis club for his motto of “each one, reach one.”

“In this somber yet spiritual setting, next to the [9/11] memorial, I can’t think of a better place for a man that embodied Glendale,” said former Middle Village Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.

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