Robert "Bob" Kennedy, 70, devoted family man, loving husband, and respected businessman officially passed from life to Life on July 4, 2014 at his home in Lake McQueeney, Texas. He was surrounded by loved ones with the sounds of fireworks blasting in the sky. Throughout his long struggle with degenerative neurological disease, Bob maintained his excellent memory and sense of humor. |
Bob was born in Keokuk, Iowa on January 7, 1944. He was blessed with wonderful parents, Eugene Vincent and Gladys (Odiorne) Kennedy and a big sister, Muriel. Each showered "Bobby" with love and care. His father, mother, and sister preceded him in death. Bob enjoyed sports, theatre, and growing up near the beauty and the power of the Mississippi River. He loved being part of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.
Bob earned his degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Iowa and worked a short time at Penick & Ford in Cedar Rapids, IA before being drafted by the U.S. Army. Two years were spent in Washington, D.C. as chemical/biologics research specialist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and also had the opportunity to attend American University MBA program.
In 1970, Bob joined the chemical marketing department of Gulf Oil in Houston, TX and from the start, loved the Petrochemical Industry and the many friends he would make around the world. He worked in positions of increasing responsibility that continued with the merger of Gulf and Chevron in 1985. Bob brought his intellect, enthusiasm, and cleverness as General Manager of several different business groups.
After providing strategic insights for the merger of Chevron and Phillips Chemical, Bob retired from Chevron in 2000. He immediately became President and CEO of Get Plastics/Resinate Corp. Ongoing entrepreneurial interests led to R.E. Kennedy and Associates, Inc., his own consulting firm where he continued to travel the world enjoying "his art of the deal." He was a director for the Port of Rotterdam, and served on the board of directors for publicly traded companies as well as chairmanships with several chemical industry associations.
He was a Chairman of the Petrochemicals Committee and V.P. of the Executive Committee of the National Petrochemicals and Refining Assoc. (NPRA) and also President of the Founders Club. Bob was a life member of Stanford Business School Alumni Association. He served the City of Houston Economic Development Consul and worked with the United Way. He was a member of Windwood Presbyterian Church in Houston Texas.
While Bob was proud of his well-earned business reputation, leadership, and insights, he was defined by his Christian faith and the love he graciously shared with his family and friends. Donna Lynn Heitman became his wife and love of his life on July 12, 1968.
Bob and Donna were parents to daughter Kara Lynn and son Jason Robert. He was generous with his time and resources, but perhaps one of his greatest gifts was the frequent family travel. Bob's family extended further with Kara's husband Scott Uptegraph, and Jason's wife Kimberly, and his beloved grandchildren Kennedy, Tripp, and Wells Uptegraph and Colin and Peyton Kennedy.
Bob's survivors include "cousin-like-a-brother" Dennis Otte and numerous other "Kennedy Clan!" Other survivors are sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Ken Southorn, Marla McBride, Joyce and Rob Smith, Rhonda Holmquist, Val and Kelly Ortberg and Daryl Smith. Nephews and nieces are: Craig and Todd Southorn; Jeff Smith and Megan Martin; Kendra Milan, Amber Limbaugh, and Michael Holmquist; Katie and Abby Ortberg; and Darin and Brad Smith; and all their precious families.
Bob's love and service of country will be forever maintained by burial at the National Cemetery in Keokuk, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at his "church by the river" in Keokuk.
Bob dealt with his declining physical body with dignity and grace…."Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary." Isiah 40:31
The family would appreciate you sharing fond memories of Robert "Bob" Kennedy by visiting The Tres Hewell Mortuary legacy page at www.treshewell.com <http://www.treshewell.com> .
Bob's lasting memory can be honored via donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, Event ID # 15943, PO Box 758541,Topeka, Kansas, 66675 or Gruene United Methodist Church - 2629 E. Commons St. - New Braunfels, TX 78130. Arrangements under the direction of Tres Hewell Mortuary, 165 Tor Dr., Seguin, Texas, 78155, 830-549-5912.
Published in Houston Chronicle from July 9 to July 13, 2014