Joshua Gabriel Kennedy, age 32, of Chicago, passed away suddenly on November 21, 2023. He was a loving son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend to many. Joshua is survived by his mother, Marilynn (McMahon) Kennedy, his father, John Kennedy, and his sisters, Jessica and Colleen. He was the godson of George Gibbs and the late Patricia Raucci. In life, Joshua had many interests, some of which include drawing, painting, philosophy, cooking, reading, and eating. He touched many people with his ability to put them at ease and to genuinely care about them.
A visitation will be held on December 1, 2023 at Cork and Kerry (10614 S. Western Avenue) from 3:00pm to 5:00pm with a service to immediately follow at 5pm. To honor Josh, the family requests that you wear bright clothes. Cork and Kerry has parking on the northwest side of 106th and Western. After 5:00pm, additional parking is allowed in the Perfect Smiles lot at 10601 S. Western.
In lieu of flowers, the family would prefer donations in memory of Joshua Kennedy to the University of Illinois Foundation for the UIC Psychiatry Unrestricted Fund 333470. To donate online, use the following link. www.giving.illinois.edu. In the “Other” field of the giving form, include the fund name: UIC Psychiatry Unrestricted Fund 333470. Please address mailed donations to the University of Illinois Foundation, Attention to: UIC Psychiatry Unrestricted Fund 333470, Harker Hall, 1305 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801.
Rest in Peace
“If you believe and have faith, please believe and have faith that my mind is calm, my heart loving.
Please love yourself." -Josh
Just over thirty-two years ago, on August 18, 1991, Joshua Gabriel Kennedy was born. He was an “off the charts” big baby, exceeding well over 100% on height and weight. And, he has been big in all of our lives ever since that wonderful day. Josh passed away suddenly on November 21, 2023. The shock of his passing has spread throughout Chicago and across the globe to his extended family in Ireland and Australia. As that shock abides, we come to know that Josh’s legacy is the tremendous love he left with all of us. His Mom, Marilynn, his Dad, John, and his wonderful sisters, Jessica and Colleen, invite you to celebrate Josh’s life with them.
When Josh was born, his Uncle George (Gibbs) and Aunt Pat ( Raucci) served as his Godparents and stood by him as he grew up. Josh had a special bond with Uncle George and Aunt Pat. Josh grew up on the Southside of Chicago, second generation Irish, with wonderful friends, including Nick and Vince, and he had a wonderful second home with Danny, Steve and Rita Schergen. Even though they knew that Josh could eat them out of house and home (his shoe size was 14), Steve and Rita opened their hearts to Josh. We are forever grateful for the love they gave Josh.
After Josh graduated from Marist high school, he explored so many interests. As Josh grew into a wonderful young man, he loved to paint, draw, write, and cook. He loved music of all kinds, and wrote beautifully and with such clarity. He attended college where he studied philosophy, poetry, and spirituality in all of its facets. These gifts served him well in his life and gave expression to his love and wisdom, which he shared with all of us.
Josh used his personal experiences facing mental health challenges to help others facing the same issues. Josh also worked to become a Certified Mental Health Counselor with over 2000 hours of clinical experience. He taught police officers and detectives at the Chicago Police Academy about mental illness, its various signs and symptoms, and shared his own powerful story to help the police force better serve the mental health community.
Josh was fiercely independent and sought at all times to live his life with integrity. Josh had a big laugh, was quick to smile, and quicker to embrace his family and friends. For those of us who had the privilege to know Josh, we are all so blessed. We are grateful to love him, and experience his love for us.