Joan Efting Kennedy passed away peacefully at the age of 88 with family at her side on Thursday, January 6, 2022, at Good Samaritan Society in Fairfield Glade, TN. Joan was born on May 9, 1933, in Chicago, IL to Edward and Vera Efting. She was a “surprise” to her parents, as they did not know they were having twins! Joan and her twin brother, John, enjoyed their childhood together in Chicago.
Joan attended Hanover College where she met the love of her life, Paul R. Kennedy Jr. They were married on August 15, 1953, in Chicago, IL, and enjoyed over 68 years together before Paul’s death on December 17, 2021. Together they raised four children: Paul, Bruce, Stephen, and Patricia. Her life with Paul took her around the country, and she made many dear friends from coast to coast along the way.
Joan served as the “Kennedy Family Manager.” Raising four children was more than a full-time job since Paul’s work with the Goodyear Tire Company often took him away from home. In 1972, Joan entered the “paying workforce.” She worked for Montgomery Ward while living in Michigan, and then as a dental receptionist when they moved back to St Mary’s, OH. Joan and Paul retired and moved to Fairfield Glade, TN in 1993.
Joan’s family and friends were her treasure. She was the “heart” of the Kennedy home and family. Joan was committed to a life of service, both at home and in her community. She served as a volunteer at the Cumberland Medical Center in Crossville, TN for over 20 years. Her faith was something she lived, and she was always active in her church community. Since retirement, she was deeply committed to the Fairfield Glade Community Church and its ministries including the Mission Committee, Women’s Fellowship, and Prayer Shawl Ministry. With her husband, Paul, she regularly visited the homebound and those in care centers unable to attend services, bringing DVDs of the worship service to them. Joan also loved to play bridge and was a crossword puzzle enthusiast.
Joan is survived by her beloved children, Paul (Karen) Kennedy III, Bruce (Laura) Kennedy, Stephen (Joanne) Kennedy, and Patricia Kennedy (Melissa Miller); and her dear grandchildren Jeffrey (Jessica) Kennedy, Kimberly Kennedy, Kevin (Sheetal) Kennedy, and Patrick (Ami) Kennedy. She was overjoyed to be a great grandmother to Ethan, Taran, Carter, and Christopher Kennedy, and was eagerly anticipating the arrival of her fifth great-grandson due in late January 2022. Joan is also survived by her twin brother, John Efting, whose wife, Grace is deceased, and her sister-in-law, Marilyn Smythe, whose husband, Richard is deceased. Joan was preceded in death by her brother-in-law David (Connie) Kennedy.
A memorial service and celebration of Joan’s life will be held May 14, 2022, at 2 PM at Fairfield Glade Community Church, 521 Snead Dr., Crossville, TN 38558. Memorial donations can be made to Fairfield Glade Community Church https://www.ffgcomchurch.org/ or the Parkinson’s Foundation. https://www.parkinson.org/about-us