Roger Kenna

Roger Kenna

Died July 22, 1975

Roger Kenna was flying his own plane, a Piper Cub, long before he graduated from Yale with a major in architecture. He was also an avid outdoorsman, canoeist, skier and driver of motorcycles and sports cars.

After preparing for Yale at The Gunnery School and Fettes College, Edinburgh, Scotland, he started out with the Class of ’64 and graduated with the Class of ’65. Roger met Constance Nobbs while she was working on her master’s degree in German at Yale; they married in 1965.

He enrolled at the Yale School of Architecture and was renovating a fire-gutted barn in Wallingford which was featured in various newspapers and magazines and was noted for its innovative use of space and architectural creativity. Then, in May of 1968, tragedy struck: Roger suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident. He was in the hospital for two months and in rehabilitation for three more months. Afterwards, he tried to continue with his studies and with renovating the barn but could not.

Looking to start over, the Kennas moved to Brandon, VT and bought an unusual hilltop tea house circa 1910 and made further renovations that stand today. Roger tried to work as an architect in Vermont but could never escape the effects of his automobile accident. He committed suicide on July 22, 1975.

He and Constance had two sons, Roger and Caleb. Roger, who died of leukemia in 2009, was a Foreign Service officer serving in Pakistan, Swaziland and Egypt. Roger and his wife, Lisa, had two daughters, Amelia and Isabel. Caleb, who has become a well-known Vermont photographer, has a son, Bodhi, with his wife Natasha. Constance is Lecturer Emerita in German at Middlebury College.