YORK -- Mr. John Edward Kennedy, 58, the son of Josephine Gill Kennedy and the late Wade Edward Kennedy, was born on July 30, 1949 in Sharon, S.C., and departed this mortal life on Aug. 12, 2007 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Funeral services will be held 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, at Chapel of Wright Funeral Home with Minister Doris Barron officiating and the Rev. J.C. Miller assisting.
He is the first of six Kennedy brothers and one sister. As the eldest son in the tight knit family, he was the sentimentalist in the group, always remembering birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations and any special events that conveyed the essence of family and friendship. He would just pick up and drive anywhere a friend or family member needed him. He joined St. Luke No. 1 Baptist Church at an early age and also attended Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Church
He attended Rainey Town and Sharon Grove Elementary Schools in Sharon, Jefferson High School in York, S.C., and transferred to Hickory Grove High School, where he graduated. He completed his education at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C. An avid reader, he enjoyed political debates and was a proud union worker and once served as union shop steward for his coworkers.
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He is an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Army, having enlisted at Fort Bragg Army Base in Fayetteville, N.C., as a paratrooper in the esteemed 82nd Airborne. He served one tour of duty in Vietnam and received the National Defense Service Medal and Parachute Badge.
Upon his discharge, he was blessed with a son, John Ratchford of York, affectionately referred to by the family as "John-John". In 1972, he met Adlease Stevenson and they were married in August 1974. From this union was born a daughter, Jonelle Trinnette Kennedy. They made their home in Glen Burnie, Md. Adlease preceded him in death on May 24, 2005. On May 16, 1983, John was blessed with a second daughter, April Glover of Charlotte.
In addition to his three children, "Pop Pop" was proud to be the grandfather of three precious babies, all born within a 10-months span, Ashanti Joan (daughter of John and Kanessa), Farellia Adlease-Kennedy (daughter of Jonelle and Farell) and Bishop Amir (son of April and Marquise).
In addition to his children and grandchildren, he leaves to mourn, his mother, Josephine Kennedy of the home; his sister, Joan Kennedy of Clinton, Md.; brothers, William Clifford Kennedy (Lola) of Charlotte, Jerry Leon Kennedy of the home, Anthony Ray Kennedy of the home, Charles Dean Kennedy (Faithie) of Rock Hill and Kenneth Malcolm Kennedy (Crystal) of York; special friends, Thomasena Glover, Kathy Spencer, Sabrena Brown and Drucilla Banks; one aunt, Pauline Gill McKnight; special cousins, Minister Doris Barron of Sharon and Al David Kennedy of Winston-Salem; and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
The body may be viewed from 6 until 7 p.m. today, Aug. 15, 2007 at the Chapel of Wright Funeral Home in York, SC.