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Helen Kennedy


1926 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
Helen Kennedy Obituary
Helen Elizabeth (Schmidt) Kennedy

1926 - 2015 WINDSOR, VT Helen (Schmidt) Kennedy, 88, formerly of Pittsfield, VT and Quakertown, PA died Saturday May 9, 2015 at Cedar Hill Continuing Care in Windsor, VT after a prolonged illness. She was born December 28, 1926 in Philadelphia, the only child of German immigrants, Herman and Marie (Hubert) Schmidt, from Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany. Helen enjoyed a lively childhood with her parents and their many German friends which included playing music, dancing and picnicking in Pennypacker Park. She graduated from Frankfurt High School in Philadelphia in 1944, winning a full college scholarship from the City of Philadelphia. She enrolled in the Philadelphia Museum School of Art and majored in Illustration. It was there she met her husband, John Kennedy, (Ghost Army veteran of WW2). She graduated in 1948. They married in 1949. Her first job was as a staff illustrator for the Curtis Publishing Company (The Ladies Home Journal) in Philadelphia. Afterwards, she continued to freelance, creating illustrations for the book and advertising genre. Helen and her husband, John, moved from Philadelphia and bought a 250 year old farm house in upper Bucks County, (near Quakertown, PA). After the birth of her two children, Lynn and Lisa, she went back to college getting her Art Ed. Degree from the Philadelphia College of Art and later, her Masters, (same subject matter) from Kutztown University. She taught in a variety of school systems and ages (Lehigh University, Philadelphia, Sellersville) and finally retired from Palisades school district in 1985. Before retiring she was employed by the Pennsylvania State Dept. of Education to evaluate College and University Art Education curriculum. Helen and John were members of Richland Friends Meeting, Quakertown and she taught First Day School for many years. She enjoyed sketching, painting, her pets, the culinary arts, gardening, architecture, nature, music and many crafts including quilting, her talents in this were considerable. Helen and John had a strong community of friends and were well known for the epic picnics and parties. A high point in her life was taking a trip with friends to West Africa. The love of the people and culture of that area stayed with her all her life. After she and John retired to Vermont in November of 1985, they settled in and almost immediately began volunteering for their beloved town of Pittsfield. Helen and John were also docents for many years at the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock, VT only retiring when their health started to fail. Helen also volunteered for many years at VINS (Vermont Institute of Science) also in Woodstock. After their granddaughter, Krista, was born they hosted summer visits and shared their interests with her. Helen continued to quilt, winning regional competitions. Several years ago, Helen and John moved to daughter Lynn's home in Bellows Falls, VT and then to the Cedar Hill Retirement Community in Windsor, VT in 2009. She converted to Catholicism in her later years with great joy and peace. Helen was predeceased by her husband in 2013 and is survived by daughters, Lynn Kennedy of Bellows Falls, VT, Lisa and her husband, Mark McGinley of Magnolia, TX and granddaughter, Krista McGinley and fiance, Dung Pham of Middleton, WI. There will be no funeral service. Burial will be at the Vermont Veteran's Memorial Cemetery in Randolph, VT The Knight Funeral Home in Windsor, VT assisted with the arrangements. Condolences to Helen's family may be made in an online guestbook at : www.knightfuneralhomes.com
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on May 14, 2015
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