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Casey Funeral Home

350 Slosson Ave, Staten Island, NY

OBITUARY

James M. Kennedy

January 9, 1923November 24, 2019

James M. Kennedy 1/9/1923 – 11/24/2019 A devoted husband, father, grandfather, and honored veteran. James M. Kennedy died at home with his family by his side on November 24, 2019. Jim was one of four children born on Staten Island to James B. and Madeline Kennedy. He was predeceased by his wife, Eleanor, his brothers John and William, and his sister, Marion Coppotelli.

Jim was 12 when he met his wife, Eleanor Dehlinger, gave her a penny, and told her to put in her hope chest because he was going to marry her someday. Jim and Eleanor were married on April 4, 1942.

Jim began his service in the United States Army in April 1943. Twenty years old and married with a newborn daughter, he was initially assigned to the Boston Port Battalion, but joined the 101st Airborne in October 1943. Jim was injured during a jump into German-held territory during D-Day preparations and was reassigned to the 94th Infantry Division. There, he was one of “Patton’s Golden Nuggets”, serving as a forward scout and demolition expert for the remainder of WWII. He served 195 consecutive days of combat, including the Battle of the Bulge. He was personally responsible for destroying dozens of German pillboxes and “dragon’s teeth” on the Siegfried Line, allowing General Patton’s tanks to break through and bring the war in Europe to an end. He served in the occupational forces until he returned to the U.S, as a Private First Class on his 23rd birthday, January 9, 1946.

Jim was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze star, along with numerous other medals and citations from the U.S., France, and the Czech Republic. He was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for the Liberation of France and was inducted as a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor. In 2018 Senator Andrew Lanza named him to New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame. He was also featured in St. Adalbert’s Hometown Hero publication.

After his discharge from the Army, Jim joined the NYPD and retired as Senior Traffic Control Inspector for the NYC Department of Traffic. He was a founding member of the Staten Island Heart Foundation, belonged to Tappan Post American Legion for more than 65 years, and was an active member of the 94th Infantry Historical Society.

Jim and Eleanor raised their three daughters, Patricia Orlando, Lynn Hageman, and Colleen Kennedy (Humphries) in Dongan Hills. They have six grandchildren: Dawn Greco, Lee Hageman, Tricia Zichello, Michele Krutoy, Michael Kennedy, and Stephen Humphries, and ten great grandchildren. Jim’s youngest great-granddaughter called him “Captain America”.

“Nothing made Dad smile more than his family and no one could have asked for a better son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, or friend”, said his daughter, Colleen.

Visiting will be at Casey’s Funeral Home on Tuesday and Wednesday with a funeral Mass at St. Ann’s Church in Dongan Hills at 10am on Friday followed by interment at Moravian Cemetery.

May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face. And rains fall soft upon your fields. And until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, November 26, 2019
  • Visitation Tuesday, November 26, 2019
  • Visitation Wednesday, November 27, 2019
  • Visitation Wednesday, November 27, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, November 29, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, November 29, 2019

Memories

James M. Kennedy

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John Clyburn

November 26, 2019

Condolences from the Officers and Members and friends of the 94th Infantry Division Historical Society on the passing of James Kennedy A/301 Infantry Regiment. His bright smile and good humor will be missed at the 94th IDHS Reunions and functions.
John Clyburn, Secretary 908-781-1406
94thHistSociety@comcast.net

Drew Simmons

November 25, 2019

Colleen said "...no one could have asked for a better son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, or friend". You can add "neighbor" to that list. I was almost born in the back seat of Jim's car when he took my mother to the hospital to have me. (My father was taking his time shaving etc.). That was December 10, 1959.
I moved to the Boston area in April of 2000, but have many a fond memory of Jim and Eleanor.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Colleen, Pat, Lynn, and family.
"Doodlebugs"

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY