After a lifetime championing human rights, cultural heritage and environmental stewardship, author and activist Stetson Kennedy, 94, passed away on Aug. 27, 2011, at Baptist Medical Center South.
The last known surviving author in Roosevelt"s 1937 WPA Florida Writer"s Project, William Stetson Kennedy was born in Jacksonville on Oct. 5, 1916, to George and Willye Stetson Kennedy.
For a summary of Kennedy"s rich life, accomplishments, and honors, see http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2011-08-25/story/jacksonville-author-civil-rights-activist-stetson-kennedy-dead-94.
During the past two decades, Kennedy has received numerous awards, including an honorary doctorate from the University of North Florida, and admission into the Florida Artist"s Hall of Fame in 2005.
Accolades include the Literary Legends Award by the Florida Heritage Book Festival, the Florida Folk Heritage Award, Dorothy Dodd Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Historical Society, the Ghandi, King, Ikeda Award, Peace and Unity Award, Jules Verne Medal of Honor and the NAACP Freedom Award.
Kennedy is survived by his wife, Sandra Parks, author, educator and former St. Augustine City Commissioner.
Family members include his sister, Jean Kennedy Curran, and her daughter, Deborah McLaughlin, both of Jacksonville; his son, Loren Stetson Kennedy (Barbara) of Raleigh, N.C., and grandson, Sean Kennedy (Jennifer) of Austin, Texas, as well as Sandra"s children, John Howland Wing of Washington, D.C., Nancy Wing Buehmann of Westminster, Colo., and Jennifer Wing Pastore of St. Augustine. His late wife, Joyce Ann Kennedy"s daughters are Katherine Jones of Newton, Mass., Becky Gay of Jacksonville, Karen Roumillat (Randy) of Jacksonville, and Leslie Reda (Kip) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. His stepgrandchildren are Greg Garmil, Tessa Gay, Ramie Stradley (Ben), Fetoun and Ashley Reda, Katherine and Joseph Buehmann, Jessica and Stephanie Pastore; and great-grandchildren, Leah and Luke Stradley.
The family invites you to share your "Stetson stories" on the Foundation website, www.stetsonkennedy.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations to continue Stetson"s work may be sent to the Stetson Kennedy Foundation, 1523 S.R. 13, St. Johns, FL 32257.
Kennedy"s final birthday, memorial celebration will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2011, at Beluthahatchee on State Road 13 in Fruit Cove.
For information, please call 904-287-0452.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223. www.hgmandarin.com (904) 288-0025.