Wed, 03/01/2017 - 9:34am admin
Janie Kennedy, age 85, of Philip, S.D., died on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Rapid City Regional Hospital.
Janie Kennedy, loving mother, treasured grandmother and strong woman of faith passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 26, 2017.
Shelly Jane “Janie” Francis, along with twin brother, Carter James, was born January 20, 1932 in Belle Fourche to C.V. “Doc” and Vera Francis. Doc’s dental practice took them to many rural communities throughout South Dakota until they settled in Philip in 1943, shortly after the arrival of younger brother, Charles “Butch” Francis.
Janie graduated from Philip High School in 1950, and in October of that same year married the love of her life, Wayne “Duck” Kennedy. Thus was the beginning of an amazing family, today 75 members strong. Grateful for the honor of calling her Mom were Becky and Roger Buhmann, Rapid City; Mick and Leanne Kennedy, Faith; Trudy Kennedy and late husband, Dwayne Formanek, Denver, Colo.; Cindy and Richard Miller, Philip; David and Angel Kennedy, Faith; Stacey and Robert Sharp, Rapid City; and Christy and Norbert Webley, Huntsville, Ala. Over the next seven decades, two generations followed with 23 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren. Although a widow at the age of 48, she was the eternal optimist and encouraged and coached everyone with her words of wisdom and love of life. She truly led by example, and that is the lasting legacy she leaves behind.
Janie was a full time homemaker and mom until 1968 when she became business manager for the Haakon County Schools. She later worked in the city finance office and Haakon County Clerk of Courts before opening the Career Closet. In 1987, she moved to Rapid City and worked in the City Planning Department and for Mayor Ed McLaughlin.
Her retirement in 2006 brought her back to Philip, when she embarked on the “labor of love” refurbishing her parents’ house. This is where Janie settled into her roots for the remainder of her life.
Janie was active in Eastern Star, First Lutheran Church and a leader in Business and Professional Women (BPW). She enjoyed a good book, Friday nights on the town with Gaye Odom, loved to paint, and was quite the bridge player. She never missed a family event and was always there to celebrate the milestones in her family’s life.
Janie was happiest with a plane ticket in hand. She traveled to Alaska, the Panama Canal, Belgium, Hawaii, Mexico and London. For the past 10 years, Janie and her daughters treasured their annual pilgrimage to Orange Beach, Ala.
Grateful for having shared her life are her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brother Charles “Butch” (Dixie) Francis, sisters-in-law, Doris Billington and Helen Kennedy, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Janie was preceded in death by her husband, Duck Kennedy, in 1981; her parents, Doc and Vera Francis; brother, Carter (Jim) Francis; sister, Donna Joyce in infancy; great-granddaughter, Sarah in infancy; and grandson-in-law, Adam.
Funeral services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Philip High School Fine Arts Building, with burial to follow at the Masonic Cemetery in Philip. All are welcome to visit with family Thursday, March 2, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. at the Rush Funeral Home in Philip.
A memorial has been established.
Arrangements are with Rush Funeral Home of Philip.