Bill Kennedy died peacefully in his sleep, Monday, April 15, at his home in Sweetwater after a short illness. Bill was 88 years old.
He was born and raised on the Swenson Ranch in Jones County. He lived and worked on the ranch until age 14, when he left to join the Civilian Conservation Corps. At 16, he joined the U.S. Navy and went to San Diego for basic training. Immediately after basic training, he was deployed with the USS Hornet aircraft carrier crew. He served on the Hornet, until that ship was sunk in an air/sea battle with Japan, and the survivors were rescued. His active duty continued on PT boats until the end of the war and he returned home from Okinawa.
Upon returning home, he re-joined the civilian workforce â€” working until his retirement from Mohawk Carpet as a salesman. During all of his adult life, Bill was an avid golfer and held the course record of 59 at Maxwell Golf Course in Abilene for many years. He played and enjoyed golf well into his 80s.
Bill was part of a square dancing team that traveled and competed all over Texas. Their team won the National Square Dancing Competition in Chicago in 1946.
In 1947, he married Mary Bardwell of Sweetwater. During their marriage, they lived in Sweetwater, Abilene and Lubbock and raised their daughter, Mary Jane, and son, Bob.
Bill returned to Sweetwater in 1991 after retirement and the death of his first wife. He met and married Arleen Blankenship in 1993. He was a long time member of the First Presbyterian Church of Sweetwater and treasured the time he spent with his grandchildren and family members.
Survivors include his wife of the home, Arleen; his daughter, Mary Jane Kennedy Harbison and her husband Larry of Ft. Worth; son, Robert â€śBobâ€ť and his wife Marisa of Arlington; step children, Terry Blankenship of Sweetwater, Karen Mast Rogers and husband Randy, Roy Blankenship and wife Debbie of Austin and LouAnn Cumbie and husband Dennis of Sweetwater; grandchildren, David Kennedy of Marble Falls, Matthew Kennedy of Lubbock, Brandon Mast of Abilene, Sarah Cumbie of Lubbock, Blake Cumbie of Sweetwater, Jessica Blankenship of Lubbock and Jake, Kyle and Kristi Blankenship of Austin.
Family visitation will be held at McCoy Funeral Home Tuesday, April 16, from 5:3-7 p.m.
Graveside services will be at Sweetwater Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, with Rev. Kary Fry officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Sweetwater.
Online condolences can be made at www.mccoyfh.com.