Father John B. Kennedy
Father John B. Kennedy, age 93, of Quincy, died on Friday, August 7, 2020 in Blessing Hospital. He was born on April 10, 1927 at St. Mary's Hospital in Fort Scott, Kansas, the son of Bernard A. and Helen M. (Keating) Kennedy. The family was living in Chanute, Kansas at the time of his birth.
In 1928 his father's work brought the family to Springfield, Illinois. For the next three years his father's work took the family to three different locations in Chicago during the summer months. In 1932 John started to school at the Cathedral grade school in Springfield. His father's work took the family to Paris, Illinois in the summer of 1937. In September of 1937 John started the fifth grade at St. Mary's school in Paris, IL. He attended four years of high school at Paris High School, where he participated in athletics and was captain of the football team his senior year. On July 18, 1945 he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He took basic training at Camp Walters, Texas. He then worked at Separation Centers in Camp Edwards, Massachusetts, Fort Devens, Massachusetts and Fox Dix, New Jersey. John was discharged from the Army in March 1947.
In September 1947 he enrolled at Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri. As a sophomore at Rockhurst he decided that he wanted to be a diocesan priest and was advised to stay at Rockhurst and major in Philosophy and take plenty of Latin courses since the text books and examination in the Seminary would be in Latin. In the spring of 1951 John talked with Bishop Wm. O'Connor about entering the Seminary to study to be a priest for the Springfield, Illinois Diocese. He graduated from Rockhurst College with a B.A degree in Philosophy May 1951.
In June 1951 he received a letter from Bishop O'Connor saying that in September 1951 he was to go to St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. St. Mary's was founded in 1789. The Sulpician priests taught there. John was ordained May 26, 1956 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Springfield, Illinois. He served in the Diocese of Springfield at parishes in Jacksonville, Springfield, Alton, Quincy, Ashland, Alexander, Greenfield and Decatur. In 2006 Father celebrated his Golden Jubilee, or 50th anniversary of his ordination to the Catholic priesthood.
Shortly after ordination, John took a few golf lessons and played golf the rest of his life. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting and spending time with his many friends.
He is survived by his brother Thomas (Ruth) Kennedy of Bettendorf, Iowa
His nephew John (Aleesha) Kennedy of Warrenville, Illinois; His niece Elizabeth (Brian) Sharkey of Bettendorf, Iowa, Great Nieces: Megan and Emily Sharkey
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Joseph Kennedy.
The family also wants to thank the wonderful staff and residents at Bickford Assisted Living in Quincy for their love and friendship over the last 12 months.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Blessed Sacrament Church. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Dixon, IL. Visitation will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church on Thursday morning from 9:30 until the time of the Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of the donor's choice.
- Dear Family
Father Kennedy was a fixture in Quincy.illinois for a very long time. Well liked and a good man and friend to many.
Saying mass for years at St. Boniface. Helping out at parishes, and chapels through the area.
He always had his Christmas parties later in St. Rose hall and attended many solemn high masses at St. Rose in Quincy.illinois.
He knew everyone.
I saw him twice at Beckford before the virus started he was great.
The good lord gave him a long journey with us, now he will reap his reward.
President of the latin mass society of quincy/historic St.Rose of lima
- my condolences to the family. I have known Father Kennedy since i was a student at St. Boniface school in the 80s. I was an alter boy for many of his masses. He was so friendly and always had interesting stories.
- Rest In Peace good Father. My brothers and I were honored to have served Mass for Father while he was in Quincy. Father was our Chaplain for the Catholic War Veterans Post 1933.
Thanks Father for your many years of Priestly life.
Paula and Mike Connell
- We extend our love and sympathy to you, the family, of this wonderful man. We enjoyed attending his masses and visiting with him at Bickford Cottage. It’s special how God acquainted our family with yours with the Volleyball connection.
May he Rest In Peace.
Fr Richard W Frank
Jefferson City, MO
- I knew Fr. Kennedy going back to 2004 when I was first assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Canton, MO. He would sometimes fill in for me when I was on vacation. I also had him help with confessions at Penance Services during Lent and Advent. I would occasionally visit him at his home in Quincy. He was gracious in being a confessor. For maybe 10 years he celebrated Mass a few times a year at Holy Cross Church in Ilasco south of Hannibal. I am now his successor there. He was a faithful priest and friend of many. May he rest in peace!