OBITUARY

Elaine Long Kennel

August 18, 1941April 1, 2021

Elaine Kennel passed away this Easter Week 2021 after a long and faith-filled life. She was born in Sheridan, Wyoming on August 18, 1941 to Harry and Opal Long (both deceased) as the middle sister between Audrey Long Anderson and Sylvia Long Scriven who live in Southern California. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended the U. of New Mexico before marrying Air Force Lt. Robert Kennel in July 1963.

Elaine leaves a full family here in North Carolina with her husband of almost 58 years Robert (Bob) Kennel and four adult children; Phyllis Kennel of Raleigh; Susan Kennel Bull (Adam) of Asheville; Philip Kennel (Kathy) of Cary; and Robin Kennel Miller (Jeff) of Cary. They also have a foster son Jerome Hartwell (Deborah) of Denver, CO. She also has 6 adult and teenage grandchildren: Nathan Bull, Hannah Kennel, Lindsey Bull, Tate Kennel, Andrew Bull, and Rosie Kennel.

She died peacefully at home in Holly Springs, NC with infection complications interacting with 12 difficult years of Parkinson’s disease. Much appreciation is given to her long-standing Parkinson’s doctors at Duke and her home hospice care from Transitions LifeCare locally.

Elaine was a life-force positively impacting all that she met. Her Christian faith was infectious with Disciples of Christ churches in New Mexico and Southern California; Fairfax Christian in Northern Virginia; Bethany Christian in Arapahoe, NC; and Covenant Christian in Cary, NC. She has also served in almost all congregational leadership positions from Deacon to Elder to Board Chair in local churches as well as many Regional church positions and Women’s Fellowship groups.

Professionally she was a family home-maker deluxe and an early liberated woman (often saying one couldn’t pay her what she was worth). She was also a professional scrap-booker representing Creative Memories making literally hundreds of acid-free albums as well as teaching scrapbooking to others. She created historical accounts for dozens of civic, educational, and church organizations as well as a complete history of all her family. She also creatively documented a dozen family international trips plus annual festivities at beloved Kennel’s Beach, NC.

Elaine was a strong NC State supporter partnering with husband Bob Kennel’s many activities there in academic, athletic, and alumni circles. As well as adult children, she currently has three granddaughters who are recent NC State alumni. She and Bob have lifetime seating rights for baseball, basketball (men’s and women’s), and football. She was also close to the three famous Yow sisters (Kay, Debbie, and Susan). NC State hired Elaine in the late 1980’s and early 2000 to create master scrapbooks about Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Kay Yow’s two bouts with cancer.

NC State Baseball Coach Elliott Avent wrote her last week saying she has the “greatness of my grandmother, a purely kind and gentle soul”. Elaine attended every baseball and softball game for her kids growing up as well as NC State games, rain or shine, meticulously keeping score in her own private baseball scorebooks.

Covid-19 has clearly cut down on the number of personal interactions Elaine has had over the past year as well as current opportunities for people to pay their respects. Working with Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, a visitation receiving guests will be on Monday evening (4-5-2021) at 7 to 9 pm at Covenant Christian Church, 2911, SW Cary Parkway in Cary; and a Memorial Service on Tuesday at 2 pm at Covenant with limited seating and a virtual option (bit.ly/CovenantZoom). A burial service will be held at Bethany Christian Church in Arapahoe, North Carolina later.

Prayers for the family are always appreciated and any flowers, plants or donations in Elaine's name can be made to the Covenant Christian Hand Bell Fund (Covenantcc-cary.org) or Camp Caroline in Arapahoe (Campcaroline.org). Masks are required if attending.

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, April 5, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Memories

Elaine Long Kennel

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Catherine Sisson

April 7, 2021

My sincere condolences to Bob and all the Kennel family. Elaine was someone so very special. I will treasure the time I spent with her at Covenant and Creative Memories events. Never a dull moment. Her kindness to my family will never be forgotten. She will be missed by many whose lives she touched. You all are in my prayers for God to surround you with his love and comfort in the days ahead.❤

Vicky Rothrock Goudie

April 7, 2021

Dear Kennel Family...it broke my heart to know that my good friend has gone ahead of me to be with our Lord. ‘I know Dick welcomed her with open wings which gives me much happiness.’ I will treasure many memories of Elaine as long as I live and will miss her greatly. What a beautiful service and tribute to her life! She was loved by so many and will never be forgotten! Love to you all, xoxo Vicky Rothrock Goudie and Family

Karen Nippert

April 6, 2021

Bob, Robin, and Family,

I am saddened by the passing of Elaine. I enjoyed talking to her before or after church and during various church events and DWM retreats to Christmount. She had such an open and loving heart. She took such joy in making sure everyone felt welcome. She also wasn't afraid to share her vulnerabilities and uncertainties.

I know she has had a long battle with Parkinson's. She was so inspiring with how she faced it with such grace and acceptance and doing as much as she could for as long as she could.

Elaine will be very much missed, but her joy and legacy will live on through you and everyone she touched.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you journey through your grief.

Love,
Karen Nippert

Darrell Dail

April 5, 2021

Bob and Family. I am deeply saddened for your loss. It hurts to lose One, so dear! Even when we know its coming. It still hurts! But, there is a Joyful and happy feeling that can be experienced which more than offsets the sadness we feel. In her passing, Elaine, who has served her Lord so well, in so many ways, through out her physical life, continues to do so. Elaine had a "sparkle" in her eyes, which was a part of her sparkling attitude. Don't forget that. The first time I met Elaine a few years ago, being "wheeled in" by Bob, to a NCSU luncheon event, her eyes were sparkling as she greeted those she was passing by. I immediately was inspired by her (and by Bob, as well)!
Seems to me, Elaine's passing during this Easter season, is a great example of the HOPE that we have through our Lord's resurrection, in that, we will all be resurrected and reunited together with our Lord. I'm glad I knew Elaine!

Darla Baldwin

April 5, 2021

Bob, Robin, and family,

“Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.”

We are so sorry for your loss. Elaine was one of our favorite people. She had a way of making you feel like you were the only person in the world when you were with her: always more interested in what was going on with you than in telling you about herself, fully engaged with you no matter what else was going on, eyes twinkling as she smiled at you. That kind of grace is rare these days, but she made it look effortless. May her legacy - of faithfulness, generosity, kindness, and connection - live on in all of us who were fortunate enough to know and love her.

Praying peace and comfort to you all, now and in the days ahead,

Much love from Brad, Darla, Eli, and Seth Baldwin

Lou Ann Miller

April 4, 2021

Mr Bob andPhyllis, I am very sorry to hear about Mrs Elaine. She was a sweet lady. I enjoyed talking to her at KennalsBeach the last time that i saw her. It was the last time we had the Fourth of July event before the Covid. Just trust in God and he will take you though this. We know that she in the arms of Jesus now and know more pain . You all are in my prayers. Lou Ann and Tommy Miller at 183Chestnut Lane at Kennal Beach.

Malinda Stallings

April 4, 2021

My parents, Hazel and Bryce Younts, truly loved you and Elaine. They enjoyed staying in your home and holding NCSU Alumni gatherings. They enjoyed traveling with you and Elaine. But most of all - they cherished your friendship. Elaine was truly a wonderful lady. Bob - you and Elaine's children are in our prayers as you honor Elaine.
Malinda and Les Stallings

Jacob Sisson

April 4, 2021

Of all the people I know.

Elaine Kennel may have been the kindest.

I can never once remember anything resembling lack of kindness.

Perhaps a little sillyness on occassion.

I remember the slight butt feel.

It's ok.

All good.

I can't express how much the world will be lessened by you not being in it.

I know the loss and heartache your family must be going through.

I felt it immediately deep in my soul.

It's a ripping you don't want to describe but there are tears that heal that too I believe.

Of all the families I have known, there is something special about yours.

I don't know what it is. Kindness, generosity, a streak of red perhaps.

I wish I had better words, longer words, some kind of words that would define the loss that people feel when someone like you is gone.

For me you will forever be missed and remembered.

There is a place for you in my memories and heart for all my life.

You are an old red that I can never forget.

Thank you for the kindness, generosity, and love that you and your family have continuously shown me and others.

It has never gone unnoticed, even if the silence on my part has been deafening.

For that, I don't know if I could ever truly apologize.

- To my family, I am Jacob Sisson.

To my friends, I am Jake.

To you, I am forever both.

Jimmy Gibbs

April 4, 2021

What beautiful memories I have of Elaine from teaching her in in vacation bible school for several years along with Bob. She was always on time and had such inspirational things to say to us during the week. We just did not want the week to end. Her energy and love of God was felt as she shared some of her work with us as well. She will be missed. Much love to Bob and the family.

Todd and Lauren Sullivan

April 3, 2021

Our deepest prayers for the Lord’s comfort, Bob and family. Elaine was such a warm, loving mentor during our years at Fairfax Christian Church. Our memories are full of her sense of humor, laughter and those very competitive church picnic softball games in your backyard! We are feeling your loss. Heaven gained an amazing soul! All our love, Todd and Lauren Sullivan

FROM THE FAMILY