Patricia L. Kennedy
August 22, 1930 – September 30, 2019
Patricia Lenore (Harkins) Kennedy, born August 22, 1930, of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away peacefully of heart failure at home on September 30, 2019. She was 89.
Pat was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Her plans to become a dental hygienist in the Navy were dashed when an enterprising Marine Corps recruiter persuaded Pat to enlist in the Marine Corps instead. After completing basic training at Parris Island, SC, in 1952, Pat was transferred to Camp Lejeune, NC, where she worked in the supply depot, earning the pretty, young Marine the nickname, "Depot Dazzler," from her fellow Marines.
While riding in a Philadelphia subway train, Pat first laid her eyes on the handsome Marine who would become her husband of nearly 65 years, Thomas Joseph Kennedy. Pat and Tom married on September 25, 1954, in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Pat rose to the rank of sergeant before leaving the Marine Corps in 1955 to begin a family. Together, Pat and Tom raised six children, Patricia Paul, Sharon Kennedy, Maureen Kennedy, Diane C. Kennedy, Thomas J. (Cindy) Kennedy, Jr., and Kathleen R. (Gregg) Horner. In 1967, while stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA, Tom was deployed to Vietnam, leaving Pat to care for their six children, aged 10 and under, on her own for a year, far from her east coast family. When Tom returned from Vietnam, the family moved to Kansas City, MO, where Pat and Tom made their permanent home. Tom later wrote a Mother’s Day tribute to Pat's devotion to her family, published in the Kansas City Star, which read in part: “Each of those jewels [in her mother’s ring] represents not only the birth month of her children, but also the blood, sweat and tears associated with rearing them. . . . She is not a ‘working mother,’ but her day is endless with little appreciation or thanks for her efforts. Through almost 30 years of married life she has been a devoted wife, and a tireless and unselfish mother. She is most deserving of the title ‘Mother of the Year’ this or any other year.”
Pat remained dedicated to the Marine Corps throughout her life, and served as Chaplain of the Women Marines Association in Kansas City. She regularly attended Mass at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church until her health failed. Besides her family, faith, and the Corps, Pat loved watching the KC Royals and Chiefs; chocolate chip cookies; and a succession of crooners, including Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and Daniel O'Donnell, not necessarily in that order. Pat is also remembered for her annual Easter Egg Hunt, which grew over the years to include many family friends.
Pat is predeceased by her husband, Tom; her parents Hugh P. and Rose (Westerman) Harkins; and her brothers, Hugh, Bernard and Neil Harkins. She is survived by her sisters, Grace Butterwick and Mary Langensiepen. She is also survived by her six children; her grandchildren Brian (Andrea) Collier; Kathryn (David) Hamilton; Shannon (Benjamin) Hemenway; Casey Ann (Ben) Field; Thomas J. Kennedy, III; Iain Horner; and Maren Horner, nine great-grandchildren; honorary "daughter," Terry (Richard) Vanzandt; and former son-in-law Jerry T. Collier.
Visitation will be held at McGilley State Line Chapel on Sunday, October 6, 2019, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 7, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. Interment, with full military honors, will be at Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kansas, on October 8, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Our Lady of Good Counsel Church or the Women Marines Association.
Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church
3934 Washington Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
Women Marines Association
611 Old Paint Road, Raymore, MO 64083
- Visitation Sunday, October 6, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Monday, October 7, 2019
- Committal Service Tuesday, October 8, 2019
Patricia L. Kennedy
October 5, 2019
Sincere condolences from the members of the Women Marines Association. “If the Army and the Navy ever looked on Heaven’s Scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.” (3rd stanza of the Marines Hymn). Take comfort in knowing your beloved Marine has left this life to take up her rightful place in Heaven’s detachment.
The Women Marines Association is dedicated to preserving the history of our veterans. We continue to build a diverse collection of uniforms, photos, papers and other artifacts donated by our members and their families. If you have items you would like to know more about or would like to have your loved one memorialized by donating items to the collection, our Historian, Nancy Wilt, would be happy to speak with you. She can be reached at: Nancy Wilt, WMA Historian, Curator of the Women of the Corps Collection, PO Box 633, Hunt, TX 78024, Phone: 830-238-3893, or email@example.com.