David Clark Kennedy

March 8, 1945November 11, 2021
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David Clark Kennedy age 76 died on Thursday, November 11, 2021 from complications due to pulmonary hypertension. David was born on March 8, 1945 in Tifton, Georgia to Ben and Helen Kennedy. David was a brother to Ben Kennedy and Judy Layman. He married his beloved wife Barbara Kennedy on July 20, 1968 in New Albany, Indiana. They were married for 53 years and enjoyed countless adventures with their daughters growing up in Minnesota.

David and his family lived in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Illinois, and finally Carmel, Indiana where he lived for almost 25 years. David was an avid outdoor enthusiast. He loved camping, hiking and cycling. He hiked the Appalachian Trail and sailed around the Chesapeake Bay. He ran three marathons and completed a number of bicycle touring expeditions.

David enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve during the Vietnam war and while his unit was not called into the war, the six years he served shaped his life. His professional career began as a lab technician for Harshaw Chemical in Louisville. Adding his innate persuasive charm to a technical background in coatings, he was a perfect fit for technical sales at Reliance/ Akzo where he spent the bulk of his career. Sherwin Williams was a 12-year culmination of his industry contributions where he served as Market Director of Wood Coatings, bringing him to commercial factories across the globe before retiring in 2013. He was humble to recognize that luck and the help of some kind managers ‘taking a chance on him’, but as much as anyone can be, David was a self-made man.

Retirement left a vacancy for David’s gregarious energy, which he filled by increasing his involvement at SAWS, “Servants at Work” and serving on their Board of Directors. He and Barbara loved Notre Dame and Colts football, their church bible study and spending time with family. David is preceded in death by his sister Judy [Tommy] Layman and survived by his wife Barbara Kennedy, daughters Jennifer Elfering and partner Dan Wendt, Kate Kneifel and husband Josh Kneifel, brother Ben Kennedy, Grandchildren, Owen Elfering, Kyle Elfering, Elizabeth Kneifel and Kai Kneifel and his beloved dog Murphy.

Visitation for David will begin at 9:30 am on Wednesday, November 17th at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and conclude at time of services at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested in David’s name to SAWS – Servants at Work: 8427 Zionsville Rd., Indianapolis, IN 46268

Special thanks to Dr. Ashwin Ravichandran, Ascension St. Vincent staff, Susan from hospice. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Kennedy family.


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, November 17, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, November 17, 2021


David Clark Kennedy

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Bob Taylor

November 19, 2021

I knew Dave from the good old days at Reliance.
Always an infectious smile and warm personality. He made you feel good being around him.
He deeply cared about everyone he worked with, colleagues in the lab, in manufacturing, in the office….it did not matter to him…he was all people. He was a strong cheerleader for his customers and that is a great part of his decades of success.
When I moved to Zion we had a chance to travel together and one time at the end of a crowded flight, long day in a hot factory and at dinner, I asked him “how do you have no wrinkles in your shirts or pants”? He always looked like a magazine photo.
A true gentleman, and one of the good guys!
Rest In Peace Dave!

Donna Williams Oberacker

November 16, 2021

From the first time I met David, I knew he was a fine man and someone I could always count on. The chemical coatings industry used to be a pretty tight knit group of folks and David fit right in as the man to go to. He was charming and full of wit and humor. I will miss this precious man. Prayers for Barbara and the family and friends who loved him.

Ken Pfarr

November 16, 2021

Julie and I feel so blessed to have shared a professional and personal relationship with David over the past 35 years. His smile, his laughter, his warmth and his stories would light up a room. We will miss that, but never forget!

Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara, Jennifer, Kate, and family's during this difficult time. God's blessings to you all.

Bob Ricci

November 16, 2021

Barbara, Jennifer, Kate and Family,

As many have mention, I too was very blessed for my friendship with David. I was very lucky to work with David at Sherwin-Williams, David was a mentor, a friend and sometimes a counselor, he was just the best.

He would say, “Young Man” let me know how I can help and he did…

David was an amazing individual who I was fortunate to spend several years with developing new business and more important new business relationships/friendships. David was a true professional, passionate about family first, business and fun… he truly enjoyed the adventure, food and a martini or two…..extremely thoughtful really cared about me and my family . One of my favorite moments with David was in 2002, I took David to a customer in Tijuana Mexico. It was 2 AM in the morning and what were we doing, we were watching paint dry, actually the paint wasn’t drying that well, it was actually falling off the cabinet doors. David, as calm as ever said don’t worry Bob we will get this right, we will get Art Kirby to send us some paint right away to fix this and he did… What was also amazing was I was sweating really bad, it was very hot in the plant and I remember looking over at David he still had the pleats in a shirt and pants very neat, no sweat beads, cool and calm as ever, shoot we had been in the plant all day, that is when I gave him the nickname “Dapper Dave”, he was just the best, he will be sorely missed.

Eric Welch

November 16, 2021

I have the pleasure of knowing David and Barbara professionally and personally. After working with them for 8 years I learned what great people they are. David was always incredibly positive and my days were made better by his presence in them. I wish Barbara and their family all the best during these difficult times.

Bob Cregg

November 15, 2021

I am so sorry to hear of David's passing. I got to know him during his time at SW, and I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to do so. David was such a tremendous man, and a great person in so many ways. Always the family man, he loved to hear stories about my daughter and I going on "dates" when she was little. He always shared stories about his family as well. Quick with his wit, and always was willing to help others who could use his knowledge and expertise. I wish I could come and pay my respects, but unfortunately the timing of the services will not allow. David will always hold a place in my heart, as one of the best I have had the pleasure to be around! He emanated Pure Class!! Your family was blessed to have him.

James Multer

November 15, 2021

David will forever be remembered for his acts of kindness, wisdom and often influential in making decisions, being the voice of reasoning. His friendship has left an indelible imprint in my memories and his smile will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

A Life That Touches Others Goes On Forever.


November 15, 2021

My cousin David had the most delightful smile and could brighten a room just by his presence. My mom, his aunt Ruth, will be so happy to welcome him to heaven. They will have such fun! Until we meet again, dear David.

Marylu (Kennedy) Silbergeld

November 14, 2021

Dear Barbara and family. I was so sorry to hear of David’s death. We only met a few times, but I have some fond memories of times at Helen’s for Thanksgiving. Please know that I will hold you in the Light and wish you peace on knowing he is at rest.

Alyssa Easley

November 14, 2021

I worked with David as St. Vincent’s pulmonary rehabilitation. He was one of the most determiners and hard working patients that we had there! He was always looking to make new goals and accomplish them. He took every opportunity to welcome others into the room and make everyone feel comfortable to be there. He always made the room a better place with his contagious laugh and bright smile. I am very sorry for your loss, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.