James Huggins Kennedy
Sept. 16, 1928--March 1, 2014
James Huggins Kennedy, age 85, died at home March 1, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents Enoch Lyle Kennedy and Edwin Catherine Huggins and two sons Greg Kennedy and Bruce Kennedy (Dante). He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Sherry Baum Kennedy; children Mark Kennedy, Dr. Jeff Kennedy (Beth), and Missy Rodriquez (Mark); grandchildren Grace, Andrew (Carmen), Darby, Molly, Mary Lee, Katie, and Will; two brothers General Edwin Kennedy and Dr. William Kennedy, and Joann Kennedy his first wife and mother of his children.
Born in Jackson, MS, he spent his early and later years in Gulfport. In 1951 he graduated from Tulane University School of Architecture and married Joann Gilmer. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of London followed by studies with Walter Gropius at Harvard University where he obtained a Master's degree in Architecture.
Jimmy then served in the Air Force, taught at Georgia Tech, and practiced architecture in Tampa, FL. In 1961 he went to Lima, Peru, to build low-cost housing and returned to Mississippi by car with his wife, four children and a dog. He then taught at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA, and returned to private practice in Gulfport in 1966.
By 1976 he was managing large construction projects in the Middle East. He remarried to Sherry Baum in 1981 traveling to Saudi Arabia where they worked and traveled extensively. After returning to the states, they refitted his sailing vessel Great Spirit and lived aboard for 12 years. Jimmy's vast sailing experience included sailing the East Coast twice, crossing the Atlantic Ocean twice, and cruising the Mediterranean for five years.
His remaining years were spent in Gulfport where he continued to build and remodel for family and friends into his 80's. A memorial service will be held 3:00 p.m. March 23 at the Nourishing Place on Tennessee St. in Gulfport.
Published in The Sun Herald on Mar. 9, 2014