Patrick W. Kennedy

June 27, 1956April 12, 2020

Patrick William Kennedy, 63, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, beloved friend, and avid race fan passed away Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020, after a courageous battle with COVID-19.

Pat was born on June 27, 1956, to the late William E. Kennedy, Jr., and Frances L. Kennedy. A lifelong Indianapolis resident, Pat graduated from Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School , Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, and the University of Notre Dame, Class of 1978.

Pat was the 4th-generation president of the three Kennedy family companies: Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing in Indianapolis; Southern Tank in Owensboro, Kentucky; and STAFCO in Columbia City, Indiana. At Kennedy Tank he worked alongside his three sons, Bill, Jimmy, and Patrick; his brother-in-law Paul Bolin; and his nephew Kevin Bolin. Under Pat’s leadership, the companies grew dramatically and became nationally recognized in quality fabrication of steel tanks, pressure vessels, and heat exchangers. Pat was a long-time board member of the Steel Tank Institute, the Steel Tank Insurance Company, and Business Owners International Manufacturing Alliance. Pat also was heavily involved in the Young Presidents Organization and The American Business Club.

Outside of managing the family’s businesses, auto racing was Pat’s greatest passion. He attended 57 consecutive Indianapolis 500 Mile races and all other motor-sport events held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) since his childhood. Pat purchased and refurbished a vintage IndyCar, the Kennedy Tank Special, that originally competed in the 1948 and 1949 Indianapolis 500s. In driving the car on “Carb Day” at IMS numerous years, Pat lived out his lifelong dream of being a race car driver. Pat served on the board of the 500 Mile Oldtimers Organization, sponsored race car drivers, and wrote two books on race trivia, collaborating with IMS historian and friend Donald Davidson as a technical advisor. The two books he authored, How Much Do You Really Know About the Indianapolis 500? and The Official Indy 500 Trivia Book were updated yearly with Short Chute Editions. His books were the result of a lifetime of immersive research and experience at the track. Pat was a former director of the 500 Festival Board and current director of the 500 Festival Foundation Board. The leaders of the IMS have voiced or written numerous notes and prayers to the family about Pat’s passionate involvement. Anyone who spent a day at the track with Pat Kennedy came away with a richer feel for the man and his beloved Speedway.

There was nothing that would keep Pat from fall football weekends and stadium tailgates in South Bend. This year, as every year, was going to be “Notre Dame’s year,” according to Pat. He was named the Indianapolis Notre Dame Club’s “Man of the Year” in 2017, an honor previously bestowed upon his father. A devoted sportsman, Pat was a talented basketball player at the Indianapolis Athletic Club, where he showed his prowess and passion for competition. He was a life-long runner, participating in twenty-five 500 Festival Mini Marathons. His family spent summers at Lake Wawasee, and Pat continued that tradition with his own family, spending every August at the lake.

Pat was a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in Troop 174, Highland Golf & Country Club, the White River Yacht Club, The Hundred Club, and the Notre Dame Club of Indianapolis. He supported numerous organizations, including Wheeler Mission, CYO, United Way, Friends of Holliday Park, Little Sisters of the Poor, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation, and many schools and parishes in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Pat was a passionate sports fan, rarely missing a game played by those in his family, but his interest extended to any great competitive event. Pat was a devoted supporter and longtime season ticket holder of the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts.

Pat was preceded in death by his beloved parents. He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Cheryl Kennedy; children Maura (Chris Page), Bill (Ellen), Jimmy (Anna Grace Sterry), Patrick, and Joey Gaines; grandchildren Kate, Grace, Luke, and Bo; sisters Peggy Shorter (Mark), Kathy Fairchild (Thom), and Ann Bolin (Paul); and nieces and nephews Kelly Schneider (Matt), Mickey Shorter (Ashley); Kimmie Rumer (Justin) and Kyle Fairchild; and Courtney, Kevin, and Brian Bolin.

Because of the uncertainty of the virus, a Mass and celebration of life will be delayed until time allows. A private family viewing and burial will occur in the coming few weeks. Please remember Pat as you celebrate Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, a Wawasee summer, Notre Dame football, and the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The Kennedy family would like to thank the incredibly passionate nursing, physician, and respiratory therapy staffs at the St. Vincent Carmel and 86th Street campuses. We also send a special thank you to family friends Dr. Michael Bojrab, our daily medical counsel during Pat’s hospitalization; and Dr. John Ramsey, who served as the family voice to Pat, as well as liaison and spokesperson with his caregivers. We are forever grateful.

For those who wish, memorial contributions can be made to Wheeler Mission (c/o W.M. Administrative Offices, 205 East New York Street, Indianapolis 46204) and Little Sisters of the Poor (2345 West 86th Street, Indianapolis 46260).

Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel assisting with arrangements. You are invited to visit the website where you may share a personal memory of Pat.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Patrick W. Kennedy

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jessica McGannon

September 8, 2020

Dearest Kennedy Family, Mary just learned today of Pat's passing in April. She is so saddened to hear the news and so are we. Of course the memories of all of your family and the friendship Mary has shared with all of you came flooding back. Please know that we are praying for all of you! Mary misses Fran to this day! We send our love and deepest sympathies to you, Cheryl, your children and all of the Kennedy family. Paul and Jessica McGannon

Tex Enoch

May 5, 2020

I got to know Pat these last 15 years through our joint membership in The Steel Tank Institute / Steel Plate Fabricators Trade Association. He served as a board member and was always available to assist and advise anyone who approached him. Besides that, he was a lot of fun.
I was so sorry to hear about his loss and my heart goes out to his family.

Susan Kreighbaum

May 1, 2020

Dear Kathy, Ann, Peggy, and family,
I was so sadden to hear the news of the passing of your brother. I know our lives have not crossed for many years, but my love for your family has never changed with the passing years.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Jerry Butler

April 28, 2020

Kathy,Ann, Paul and families...
Although I Haven't seen you for quite a while, I want to express my deepest sympathy regarding Pat's passing. I always recognized how close your family was. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kennedy clan in this time of loss. Please extend my sincere condolences to Cheryl and family.
Jerry Butler

Patrick McBride

April 24, 2020

Just saw the article in the Star. So terribly, terribly sorry. Pat was such a wonderful fellow. My deepest sympathies to all.

Bill and Cokie Scheidler

April 23, 2020

We are so so sorry for your loss! Pat always had a smile on his face and, when he talked to you, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. Pat was always positive. Loved watching his kids and their sports. We will miss seeing Pat on St. Patrick's Day.
Love and prayers to the entire Kennedy family,
Bill and Cokie

Christa Guedel

April 23, 2020

Pat has been a cherished customer and friend for over three decades. He spent considerable time and effort crafting the language and sentiment for every plaque he presented his retiring employees. He interacted with every employee at our awards shop and knew each by name. He was genuine, kind, considerate and humble and we enjoyed him immensely. It is a shock that we won't be seeing him periodically as we are used to doing. We are genuinely heartbroken to hear of the passing of our dear friend. Until we meet again Pat. Christa, Chris, Linda, Gabi, and Bryan at Flying W Awards.

Laurie Foster

April 22, 2020

I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of Patrick Kennedy. May he rest in God’s ever loving hands. God Bless.
Laurie Foster

Rick Aton

April 20, 2020

Oh my, I'm so sorry! Linda & I send our deepest sympathy and condolences to Cheryl and the entire family. May the Good Lord give you the peace and comfort to be able to celebrate a life lived incredibly well! And give you the same peace, comfort and hope to help you grieve through your incredible loss. Love & Blessings!

The man is a success.........
who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children;
who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world better than he found it,
who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.

Well done, Patrick, well done!

Mike Davis

April 20, 2020

So sorry to hear this. I was able to talk with Mr. Kennedy at last years MPact show. What a really nice guy to take the time to speak with me and introduce his son to me. My prayers and thoughts for your family. Mike Davis, Hamilton Tanks


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