James D. Kennedy
September 25, 1942 – September 4, 2020
James Douglas Kennedy passed away on September 4, 2020. Born on September 25, 1942, he was 77 years old. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years Constance (Ward), his parents James and Esther (Roth) Kennedy, and brother Lawrence (Patricia). He is survived by his children, Katherine and James (Jamie), grandchildren, Daniel (Tiffany) Kennedy and Charles Cheshure, great-grandchildren, Brendan and Hayden, niece, Sarah and nephews, John, Austin, Jordan, and Ian. He was the treasured brother-in-law to Frederic (Hillary) Ward, Jr.
He met the love of his life, Connie, in the fall of 1965 at Wayne State University and was also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi. He was such a good athlete playing club sports that he was scouted by the Dallas Cowboys as a punter and the Chicago White Sox as an infielder. He graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and upon graduation was asked to be a fellowship professor of Economics. He went on to work for Chesebrough Ponds/Prince Matchabelli where he became the V.P. of Sales for the western half of the U.S.
He loved driving fast and smooth, boating, movies, animals, great food—especially ribs, the Beach Boys, and all children. He was a larger than life figure, the patriarch of the family. A kind and generous man with a great heart, whose chief concern was the welfare of others. He had a strong impact on all who met him throughout his life. Never one to brag or boast, he did put himself through college by drag racing in his 1963 Dodge Max Wedge Polara.
A lifelong Michigan resident, he built two homes from the ground up in Clinton Township. Jim and Connie would enjoy boating on Lake St. Clair, many trips across the U.S.A., downhill snow skiing and finding the best beach, where ever it was. Jim loved bringing Lexington sand home for the sandbox for three generations. He was always a source of love and fun while telling it how it was, nobody ever left the table hungry.
Connie and Jim loved being Nana and Buppa to their grandchildren as much as Aunt and Uncle to Sarah and John. More joy came to them upon the arrival of great-grandchildren Brendan and Hayden. Jim relied on Connie and her talents to compliment his to sell commercial playgrounds for the last 20 years, and in other business ventures in the 33 years before that. Jim had an indomitable drive; he worked right up until his health no longer permitted. He was a brilliant and resilient businessman and a genius with finance.
He is irreplaceable; He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends.
A visitation will be held on Friday, September 11, 2020 from 2-8 PM at Resurrection Funeral Home, 40800 Hayes Rd, Clinton Township, MI 48038. A memorial service and reception will follow on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10 AM at the Mirage Banquet Center, 16980 18 Mile Road, 48038. Due to Covid-19 Pandemic restrictions, facemasks/face coverings are required for entry at services.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.resurrectionfuneralhome.com
- the late James & Esther (Roth) Kennedy, Parents
- the late Constance (Ward) Kennedy, Wife
- Katherine & James (Jamie), Children
- Daniel (Tiffany) Kennedy, Grandson
- Charles Cheshure, Grandson
- Brendan & Hayden, Great Grandchildren
- Sarah, Niece
- John, Austin, Jordan, & Ian, Nephews
- Frederic (Hillary) Ward Jr., Brother-in-law
- the late Lawrence (Patricia) Kennedy, Brother
Learn more about the Kennedy name
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Friday, September 11, 2020
Memorial Service and Reception
Saturday, September 12, 2020
James D. Kennedy
September 14, 2020
Jim and I were pledge brothers in 1965 at Wayne State for Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity. While it was a business fraternity, Jim and I worked closely to make sure that the social benefits for our members were as great as the professional. We had fun and we stretched the rules and we share many laughs. One memory we shared was an overnight canoe and camping trip on the Au Sable River from Grayling to Mio. None of us had camped but we knew how to have a great time and I'll never forget sharing the canoe with jim. We saw each other over the years and we shared great visits with Connie and my wife, Sandi. We always had great laughs. We talked after Connie passed and again just a couple months before he passed away. I'll cherish our memories and our friendship forever. Ken. Banks, Seminole, FL.
Frank and Donna DiSabatino
September 12, 2020
Our thoughts are prayers are with the family during this sad and difficult time. We were saddened to hear of Jim's passing. Our fondest memories of Jim and Connie were when we "on the water" with them. They both truly enjoyed the serenity and beauty of the Great Lakes and were truly blessed to build so many wonderful memories together. There's no doubt he truly loved his family as they were always a part of his conversation and when he spoke about them, there was ALWAYS a huge smile on his face. RIP Jim!
September 11, 2020
Will never forget the annual Christmas party’s was great going to as a kid.
September 9, 2020
Great memories for Angie and I when I took her to the Kennedy Christmas party they so graciously hosted for years. I truly believe that is was a cementing experience that we still cherish today.
John & Angie Thom
September 9, 2020
I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was so kind to my boys when they were young — always the fun uncle. My thought and prayers are with his children & grandchildren. God bless.
September 6, 2020
Out thoughts and prayers are with you