Linda Gioga Kennedy was born on September 30, 1944, in Los Angeles and passed quietly in her home on June 11, 2016. She is survived by her beloved husband of 49 years, John Kennedy; sister, Marilyn Lewis; sister-in-law Vyonne Rousselot; nephews Tony Lewis and Kim LeMasters; and nieces Shelly Koral and Susan Moreno.
Linda proudly graduated from Downey High School and then pursued her higher education at the University of Southern California, earning a Bachelor’s degree and earning a Master’s degree at Pepperdine University.
Linda always wanted to make a positive difference in people’s lives, a goal she most ably fulfilled during her 38 years as an educator with the Downey Unified School District as a classroom teacher, teacher specialist, elementary school principal and Director of Curriculum and Instruction.
Even after retirement, Linda continued to impact lives as an active member of the Gypsy Johnson Auxiliary of the Assistance League of Downey serving as chairman and many other offices and working in the Thrift Shop. Linda also served on the board of the PTA H.E.L.P.S. food bank where she worked several times a month. In addition, Linda was on the Board of Directors of the Downey Family YMCA and a member of the Downey Kiwanis Foundation Board.
As the Chief Financial Officer of the Mary R. Stauffer Foundation, Linda assisted Dr. Stauffer in many ways – interviewing community college scholarship applicants, reviewing teacher grant applications, and organizing recognition for scholar athletes and straight-A middle school students. The most gratifying part for Linda, however, was her ability to support and promote the establishment of the Project Lead the Way engineering program at Warren High School which is now implemented at all of the schools in Downey. The Project Lead the Way robotics class at Downey High School recently won national recognition and Linda was one of their champions from the beginning.
Honors, maybe too few, came Linda’s way. She was the DUSD Teacher of the Year in 1970. Linda was inducted into the Downey High School Hall of Fame, selected as a Woman of Distinction by the Downey Soroptomist Club and received several Honorary Service Awards and a Volunteer Award from the PTA.
Linda continuously gave back to the community – and more. She leaves an enduring legacy of love for family and friends, commitment to others, dedication in all that she did and countless wonderful memories.
A memorial celebration of Linda’s life will be held at a later date. Memories of Linda can be shared at a tribute page - http://linda-kennedy1.muchloved.com. Donations may be made in Linda’s memory for a scholarship fund at Downey High School. Please send checks payable to: Linda Kennedy Memorial Fund, DFCU, 8237 Third Street, Downey, CA 90241.