Kevin Kennedy, 61
Kevin John Kennedy, 61, of Hope Valley, R.I. passed away peacefully on Friday, October 23, 2020 at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Mass., where he had been a patient since November 2019 after undergoing a liver transplant. As he did throughout his lifetime, Kevin, with the heart of a lion, demonstrated amazing courage, strength, tenacity and a constant perseverance to live each day despite many complications and obstacles.
Kevin was the husband of Janet (Veldhuis) Kennedy and together they shared a happy and loving home on the peaceful waterfront of Locustville Pond with their adorable dog Cody. Kevin was also the proud father of Ronald John Kennedy, who predeceased him in October of 2019.
Born in Westerly, he was the son of the late Ronald and Jeanette Kennedy of Ashaway. He is survived by, and is the brother of, Brian Patrick Kennedy, Tracey Kennedy (husband Ron) and Erin (Kennedy) Celico (husband Robert). He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues who will miss his sense of humor and ready smile.
A graduate of, and dedicated donor to the University of Rhode Island, Kevin spent the last 29-plus years as a loyal and hardworking outside salesman for the Arnold Lumber Company of West Kingston, R.I. and was their top salesman for 17 of those years. He worked with many suppliers, builders and contractors on both the mainland as well as Block Island, selling building materials and fostering relationships that more often than not translated into lifelong friendships. Earlier in his career, Kevin worked as a carpenter, securing a reputation for both quality and fairness, including many years with his own father. Kevin was selfless and found it most gratifying to help, support and share his industry knowledge with younger, up-and-coming builders within the communities he served.
In his personal life, Kevin, first and foremost, had a great passion for the wintertime and looked forward to snowmobiling throughout Vermont and Canada. An avid outdoorsman and sports enthusiast, Kevin spent time hunting, fishing, boating, four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing and enjoying any one of the Boston area sports teams — especially when he had the chance to watch a game in person. Kevin was competitive by nature and enjoyed sitting down for a “friendly” round of cards or a game of cribbage and also excelled at distance running and playing softball in his younger years. He was a man of faith and principle, was fiercely loyal to friends and family and loved cooking a holiday meal, which always included his infamous clams casino or chowder. Kevin was a lifetime member of the Ashaway Sportsman’s Club, the Ashaway Volunteer Fire Department, and a loyal member of Ducks Unlimited and the Fraternal Order of Police.
“A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.” — Charles Darwin
Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, a memorial service will be scheduled for Kevin in 2021 to join with his friends and family to celebrate his incredible life and legacy. Please keep Kevin and the Kennedy family in your prayers.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Kevin’s name to the American Liver foundation liverfoundation.org
Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce St., Westerly is in care of the arrangements. For online condolences please www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com.