DOWNEY - Jack Kennedy, an Air Force pilot during World War II who lived in Downey since 1964, died Feb. 24.He was born in Oneida, N.Y., on Sept. 5, 1920, the only surviving child of John and Lauretta Kennedy. He moved with his parents to California in 1935 and, after two years of community college, joined the Army-Air Corp (now the U.S. Air Force). After excelling in flight school (which he attended with Chuck Yaeger), Kennedy was made a flight instructor and based in Panama. He served three years and was honorably discharged in December of 1946. He then joined the Air Force reserves and was discharged in 1955. After the war, he joined the art department of a sign company where he worked with his father. In 1947, on the weekend of his 27th birthday, he met his wife of 61 years, Bess (Sullivan) Kennedy. They were married in 1948 on Thanksgiving at St. Emydius in Lynwood. They honeymooned in Las Vegas over the four-day weekend. Bess gave birth to their first child, Lorry, in the summer of 1949. Mike was born in 1952 (and died in 1979), Pat was born in 1953 and Joan in 1959. The family moved to Downey in the summer of 1964 and still reside in the same home. Kennedy began working at Health and Company in the early 50's. He worked on many recognizable signs, including the KFC bucket and the Hollywood sign restoration. He is survived by his wife, Bess Kennedy; daughters, Joan Kennedy Parks and Lorry Kennedy; son, Patrick Kennedy; grandsons, Rick Wilmot, and Ian, Mike and Andy Parks; and a great-grandson, Sully Wilmot, with a great-granddaughter, Layla Kennedy Parks, on the way. Funeral services were held Feb. 4 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. Downey Zrelak Family Mortuary handled services.
********** Published: March 5, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 46