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John J. Kennedy
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Obituary for John J. Kennedy

KENNEDY, John J., on May 16, 2018. Beloved husband of Rosemary (née Oswald) Kennedy, devoted father of Sean J. Kennedy (Heather High-Kennedy) and Kathleen Kennedy-Reilly (Brian Reilly) and proud grandfather of Madelyn, Christian, Sean and Finn Reilly; Ashley, Juliet, Aidan and Natalie Kennedy. Son of the late Rebecca (née Wray) and Richard; brother of Maureen Vail (Bill) and Betty Ann (Joe Egan) and the late Richard (Nancy), James (Marian) and Susan Jackson. As a slim, short 8-year-old child, John worked for a construction crew that delighted in his then-tiny stature, which made him perfect for lowering into small spaces to work with concrete. It was in large part the work experiences of his childhood that shaped John into the extraordinary adult that he became. Fairly fearless and highly optimistic, through trials and tribulations, he learned that the road to success was rocky, but navigable through education, persistence, dedication, and passion. After graduating from Bishop Neumann High School in 1957, John entered the workforce and the military, eventually becoming a proud Corporal in the U.S. Army, working as a Forward Observer. Prior to his honorable discharge, he married his sweetheart, Rosemary, earned a degree in marketing from St. Joseph’s University, began a marketing career with Exxon, and became a dedicated father to his two children, Sean and Katie.
Through it all, it was his can-do attitude and creativity that propelled him to succeed in a wide range of areas. Often covered in dirt from head to toe, and rarely without a saw or hammer in hand, John surprised many with his actual profession, as most assumed by the quality of his craftsmanship that he was in the home improvement business by trade. His greatest joy and success, however, was in the living legacy of his family, including the wife he adored, his children, his children-in-law, and 8 grandchildren, whose lives were forever blessed by their beloved Poppy. As involved as a grandfather can be, Poppy was a regular on Mommy-n-Me circuit at Supplee Nursery School in Maple Glen, where he spent several years dropping off, picking up and playing with one or another grandchild on the ever-familiar playground. Always the biggest cheerleader at games and concerts, marching band competitions and dance recitals, theater performances and swim meets, Poppy instilled a sense of value in each individual child. He would tell them one by one, “Poppy loves you,” while quizzing them on Civil War trivia, and singing “Back in Baby’s Arms” to them during carpool rides. With John, children always came first, and passion for the well-being and happiness of all children was a motivator in his collaboration with the Make-a-Wish Foundation, through Exxon, to provide joyful opportunities for children in need. To remember and pray for John together, friends and family are invited to his viewing on Tuesday, May 22, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Horsham, PA, and to his funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. that morning. Interment will follow immediately at Whitemarsh Memorial Park in Ambler, PA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John Kennedy’s name to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


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Previous Events

Viewing

Tuesday

22

May

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
St. Catherine of Siena Church

321 Witmer Road
Horsham, PA 19044

Funeral Mass

Tuesday

22

May

11:00 AM
St. Catherine of Siena Church

321 Witmer Road
Horsham, PA 19044

Cemetery Details

Location

Whitemarsh Memorial Park

1169 Limekiln Pike
Prospectville, PA 19002

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