Donald Ray Kennedy was born in Picayune, MS, on February 19, 1937, and died in his home in Baton Rouge, LA surrounded by family on November 7, 2023. Don was saved and baptized at age twelve and did his best to live a life that would honor his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He was ordained as a deacon in 1966. He was a member of Greenwell Springs Baptist Church.
He served in the Army National Guard for 9 years of which 2 years were active. He moved to New Orleans in 1962 to work for the Boeing Aerospace Company. He was proud to be part of the engineering group that designed the first stage of the Saturn V rocket. He moved to Baton Rouge in 1964 to work for Walk Haydel & Associates and retired as a Senior Project Manager in 1999. He enjoyed music, art (landscapes and portraits), and writing (short stories and novels). He officiated Louisiana high school football for 30 years, college track and field for 2 years including the 1987 National Championship meet and was on the “Chain Gang” for LSU home football games for 20 years.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 64 years, Elaine Holden Kennedy; parents Amon A. and Hazel V. McQueen Kennedy; brothers James Amon and Bobbie Jean; and grandson Nicholas Caffey.
Survived by his son Greg Kennedy and his wife Hope, grandsons Alex, Ashton and his wife Alexis, great-granddaughters Olivia and Mallory, and great-grandson Brooks (on the way); daughter Karen Caffey and her husband Rex, grandson Evan and granddaughter Abby; sister Johnnie Fay Hate’ and her husband Kumar.
Visitation will be at Resthaven Gardens of Memory and Funeral Home at 11817 Jefferson Highway on Monday, November 13, 2023, from 9am to 11am. Funeral service will be at 11am, with burial immediately following.
Special thanks to Tanya and Hannah Stewart and Jeremy Bassett for their love, devotion, and care, and to Clarity Hospice and nurse Jamie Odum.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in memory of his grandson, Nicholas Caffey.