KENNEDY, DR. JOHN O. – age 88 of Knoxville, Tenn., a retired physician and direct descendant of Kennedy, Pierce, Blake and Perry families who were early settlers of Knox County, passed away Saturday, January 29th, 2000 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Dr. Kennedy was born at the family farm in the Riverdale Community of Knox County on May 29, 1911, the youngest child of Elmo F. Kennedy and wife, Margaret Jane Pierce Kennedy. He graduated from Carter High School (Class of 1929), the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Medical School (Class of 1937). He did his internship and residency at the old Knoxville General Hospital, and after finishing the same, became an associate of the late Dr. E.G. Wood, M.D.
Dr. Kennedy enlisted in the U.S. Army on October 3, 1941 as a medical officer, and served 41 months in the Pacific, mostly with the 34th Division and was honorable discharged as a Captain March 4, 1946. He served at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, North Sector General Hospital on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, remote Fanning Island one thousand miles south of Hawaii, Okinawa, and in Tokyo as part of the occupation of Japan.
He returned from the war and on January 5th, 1946 married Margaret Christine Lester, of Glade Springs, Va., his sweetheart he met when she was studying to become a nurse at the old Knoxville General Hospital, who had returned from her military service as a First Lieutenant with the Army Nurse Corps in North Africa and Italy.
In 1946 he established his practice in the Medical Arts Building, and practiced as a general practitioner until retiring December 31, 1985. Dr. Kennedy was a member of the American Medical Assoc., the Tenn. Medical Assoc., the Southeastern Surgical Congress, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Knoxville Academy of Medicine, which he served as president for 1965. During his over forty years of practice, Dr. Kennedy delivered over 2,000 babies and served on the staff of Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center, his primary hospital.
Dr. Kennedy has been a member of Gilead Baptist Church since 1986.
Dr. Kennedy was preceded in death by his parents, Elmo F. Kennedy (1931) and Margaret Jane Pierce Kennedy (1962), wife Christine L. Kennedy (1981), daughter in law, Anne Scott Kennedy (1997), older brothers, Lawrence T. Kennedy, Sr., D.D.S. (1986) who also practiced in the Medical Arts Building, A. Sam Kennedy, Sr. (1985), a schoolteacher, and H. Claude Kennedy (1985), a farmer, and sisters in law, Johnnie LaRue Kennedy (1990) and Ada C. Kennedy (1995).
He is survived by his sons, John Olney Kennedy, Jr., a sales representative, and James Lester Kennedy, an attorney; his sister in law, Dorothy W. Kennedy, all of Knoxville; his latewife’s stepmother, Mrs. Ethel Lester, her surviving brothers, Robert Lester, Cecil Lester, Harold Lester, and John Lester, all of Va.; and her sister, Mrs. Betty Ruth DeFriece of North Carolina, and their families, very special friend and companion, Mrs. Trula M. Foust of Mascot, Tenn.; numerous nieces; nephews; great nieces and great nephews; and cousins from the Kennedy, Pierce, Blake and Perry families.
Pallbearers: Bruce Kennedy, Marvin Neal, K. Karl Spalvins, Grady E. Hughes, Albert Maynard, Jr., and John Sharpe.
The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Monday Jan. 31st, 2000 with the funeral service to follow at 8 p.m. at McCarty Mortuary 4004 Holston Drive, with the reverend Mike Goodson and Reverend Lawrence Ford officiating. Burial Tues. February 1st, 10:30 a.m. Mount Harmony Baptist Cemetery on Strawplains Pike, Knoxville. Memorials may be made to Gilead Baptist Church, Shipe Road, Mascot, Tenn. 37806, or the Knoxville Academy of Medicine Alliance Nursing Scholarship Fund, 422 W. Cumberland Ave. Knoxville, Tenn. 37902. McCarty Mortuary in charge.
Knoxville News-Sentinel – Monday, January 31, 2000 Page A7