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US Navy


James Earl Kennedy, Jr.

July 11, 1942 ~ June 16, 2019 (age 76)
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James Earl “Jim” Kennedy, Jr., age 76, of Centralia, Illinois, passed away at 8:20 A.M. on Sunday, June 16, 2019, at Nature Trail Health Care Center in Mount Vernon, Illinois.  He was born on July 11, 1942, in Fredericktown, Pennsylvania, the son of the late James Earl, Sr. and Ruth (Livingston) Kennedy.  He married Mary Evelyn “Micki” Klingries on December 19, 1992, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Centralia, Illinois and she survives him in Centralia, Illinois.

In addition to his loving wife of 26 years, Jim is survived by his son, Sean Kennedy and wife Tracy of Gulf Port, Florida; daughters, Taffy Bequette of Summerfield, Illinois, Tracy Denton of Lebanon, Illinois and Dawn Conrad of Saint Louis, Missouri; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; brother, Scott Kennedy and significant other Diana of Defiance, Missouri; sister, Judy Harrison and husband Tim of Saint Louis, Missouri; son-in-law, Gary Brand of New Memphis, Illinois and special friends, Neely Reed and wife Bobbie of Central City, Illinois and Dawn Leonberger of Shobonier, Illinois.  Jim enjoyed the companionship of his furry friends; his dog, Dallas and his cats.

In addition to his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his parents; daughters, Ruth Ann Brand and Sandy Acton; grandson, Corey Brand and sisters, Ruth Ann Kennedy and Linda Younge.

Jim was a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Centralia, Illinois.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving his country during the Vietnam Conflict from November 30, 1959 until his honorable discharge on July 2, 1963.  He loved drawing and painting until his health limited him to do so.  He enjoyed riding motorcycles, playing video games and listening to music, especially listening to  “Call Me The Breeze” and playing his guitar.  He was an avid collector of Batman memorabilia and was a remote-control car and airplane enthusiasts.  He cherished the time he spent with his family. 

Jim retired in 1999 as a truck driver after many years of service.  He was an airbrush artist in Saint Louis, Missouri and Florida for many years.  He was an artist in Branson, Missouri during the “Summer of 1993”.  Jim was an airbrush artist at J.D.’s Music Emporium in Centralia, Illinois for one year.   It was at J.D.’s Music Emporium that Mary’s prayer was answered, as she met Jim.  She met him after she questioned if he could airbrush a cat on a t-shirt and he responded, “Of course, I can.”  It was his straight forwardness and his humor that brought Jim and Micki together.  He has lived 28 years in Centralia, Illinois and formerly lived in Saint Louis, Missouri.

A Celebration of Life Service for Mr. James Earl “Jim” Kennedy will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Centralia, Illinois, with Reverend Paula Comper officiating.  Military Rites accorded by the Centralia American Post 446 and Centralia V.F.W. Post 2055.  Friends are invited to visit with Mr. Kennedy’s family from 10:00 A.M. until time of services at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Mr. Kennedy’s honor to the First Christian Church in Centralia, Illinois and will be received by the Moran Queen-Boggs Funeral Home in Centralia, Illinois.  Please view the online obituary, send condolences or share memories with Mr. Kennedy’s family at or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.

Donations may be made to:

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Centralia, Illinois,

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