Josephine S Kennon

May 22, 1932January 7, 2021

Josephine Solzbacher Kennon died at Fairfax Hospital on January 7, 2021 after a brief illness. She was born in Cologne, Germany on May 22, 1932 to William A. Solzbacher and Regina R. Solzbacher.

After Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, Josephine and her parents were forced to flee the country for Luxembourg where her sisters Irene, Regina and Eve where born. The family then fled to Belgium and then France, Spain, and Portugal until they were finally able to immigrate to the United States aboard the notorious Spanish cargo “hell-ship” Navemar in 1941.

Jo excelled academically and earned a full academic scholarship to Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in Purchase, New York where she graduated second in her class in 1954. In 1956, Jo earned her master’s degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where she met her husband Patrick Kennon.

After marrying in 1955, while Pat was in the Air Force, the couple moved to Frankfurt, Germany where their two sons, Patrick and William were born. In 1959, Pat took a job in the petroleum industry in Mendoza, Argentina where the couple’s daughters Julia and Monica were born and where Jo taught American and English literature at the Escuela Superior de Lenguas y Literaturas extranjeras at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo. In 1965, Jo and Pat quit their jobs to live on a sailboat for a year with their young family in the US Virgin Islands.

The family then moved to Dallas, Texas where Jo taught Spanish at the local parochial school while Pat pursued his Master’s degree at SMU. In 1968, the family settled in Northern Virginia where Pat worked for the Central Intelligence Agency until his retirement in 1993 and Jo volunteered for several years for the Arlington County Electoral Board.

Jo’s passions included politics, reading, languages, travel, stamp collecting, and gardening. Jo had an artistic bent and an intelligent and sometimes acerbic wit.

Jo was preceded in death in 2020 by her husband of 64 years, Pat. She is survived by her children, Patrick J. Kennon, William Kennon, Julia Kennon, and Monica Wall, sons-in-law David Greenspan and Michael Wall, three grandchildren, Ivan Wall, Edward Wall, and James Wall and sisters, Regina Rouse and Eve Cuthbert.

A private ceremony will be held at a future date when it is safe to do so. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions may be donated to the Galapagos Conservancy.

River of Sorrow by Todd Nigro

Drinking from the waters of sorrow sustains a different kind of life. This river is hidden from the rest of the world. Tears drip from my chin and fall into an endless flow of liquid love. This river sparkles with beauty.


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