Hugh Glover Kennedy, collector of jokes, books, rocks from vacation spots and other useless items of sentimental value, died Monday, December 09, 2019 at Columbus Hospice House on Moon Road. He was 82.
Mr. Kennedy was born August 18, 1937 in Montgomery, West Virginia. His father Carl was a dentist, his mother Mary Eugenia a homemaker, and both of his brothers grew up to practice dentistry with their father. When Hugh Kennedy chose English as a college major, he called himself the "black tooth of the family."
He had a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University, and a master's from the University of Georgia.
He met Charlotte Ann Bradfield in the early 1960s as he came south to serve several years in the U.S. Army. Mutual friends from the First Presbyterian Church choir introduced the couple. In their courting days, Hugh walked Charlotte home to her apartment and, playing off Hamlet's "Good night, sweet prince," substituted the word "princess." Charlotte would laugh, as he insisted he was being romantic.
The day of Mr. Kennedy's proposal, he asked Charlotte to play Chopin's "Raindrop Prelude" on the piano in her parents' home in Valley, Ala. The unsuspecting Charlotte had to play the piece several times before he worked up his nerve to ask her to marry him. Hugh and Charlotte wed on August 14, 1964 in Valley. Their son, Brad, was born in 1967 and daughter Allison came along in 1968. Mr. Kennedy was a proud and fun father. As Charlotte slept late on Saturday mornings, Hugh would let his children put chocolate chip cookies in their otherwise healthy cereal.
When Brad or Allison would scrape knees or elbows, he'd place them on the bathroom counter for bandaging, calling himself "Dr. Daddy."
He taught his children to drive on his stick-shift truck; his son to play golf, a game Mr. Kennedy enjoyed since childhood; and he also introduced his children to good music, a love of reading, stale jokes, and the importance of generosity and hard work. He was patient in the ways that mattered but was impatient in grocery store lines and with telemarketers.
Mr. Kennedy gave to numerous charities around town, and nationally, and believed in giving anonymously. Throughout his life, he was active in Kiwanis, the Jaycees, and volunteered extensively at First Presbyterian Church. For many years, Mr. Kennedy provided his share of levity and wisdom at the weekly Men's Prayer Breakfast. In his work life, Mr. Kennedy first taught English and English literature at the former Baker High School then at Hardaway High School where he also coached the golf team. He changed careers in his 30s, becoming a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Georgia. He enjoyed helping people find their path in life, and others to re-enter the workforce after becoming disabled. His leisure time included many rounds of golf, yard work and tending to the family pets. One of his favorites was a golden retriever named Molly. He and Charlotte traveled extensively, especially in their retirement years. He was very happy to visit at least two famed golf courses, Pebble Beach and Augusta National. (In the mid-1990s, he and Allison bumped into the pro golfer Bernhard Langer at a grocery store during Masters Week. Knowing of Langer's German heritage, Mr. Kennedy asked where they might locate the German potato salad.)
He is survived by his wife, Charlotte Kennedy; children, Brad Kennedy of Lula, Ga., and Allison Kennedy Owen (Michael) of Columbus; brothers Nathaniel Kennedy and Carl Kennedy; and six nieces and nephews. The family believes that Mr. Kennedy's trip to heaven included a stop in West Virginia.
A Memorial Service is 11:00 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 1100 First Avenue, with the Revs. Danny Dieth and Connie Happell officiating. A reception and visitation will follow at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are welcome to First Presbyterian Church, 1100 First Ave., Columbus, GA 31901; or to Columbus Hospice, 7020 Moon Road, Columbus GA 31909 www.columbushospice.com
Celebration of Life Service with Visitation
DEC 13. 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)
First Presbyterian Church
1100 1st Ave.
Columbus, GA, 31901
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