Bessie Louvine Brittain was born on July 13, 1921 to James and Bertha Brittain in Birmingham , Ala. The doctor didn't expect Bessie to live through the night of her birth. In fact, she was born so premature that the first night her bed was the dresser drawer. Bessie fought that first night and continued on throughout her life. She persevered over 91 years and nine months. She survived the loss of her pastor husband, two knee replacements, a broken hip and her first bout with breast cancer. Through it all she kept her sense of humor, her love for the Lord and her desire to do His will. In 35 years she wrote over 500 Open Windows devotions, more than 160 articles and dozens and dozens of poems. Her writings have impacted countless readers from around the world. She received hundreds of letters thanking her for her ministry. She and Harold Dye were the most popular Open Windows writers. People from all over the country were touched by her writings. Bessie was an amazing wife and ministry partner. Being a pastor's wife for close to 40 years allowed Bessie to invest in many lives. She ministered in almost every capacity in the church, taught Sunday School for well over 50 years and led many Vacation Bible Schools. She was a Bible Scholar, a guardian of doctrinal truth and an incredible teacher. She was a clear voice for communicating the Gospel of Christ and an advocate for meeting the needs of people. Bessie was a member of the First Baptist Church of Las Cruces, N.M. Bessie was an incredible mom. She prayed for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every day of their lives. She taught biblical principles to her children by example, model and instruction. She had great patience and unconditional love…a life of grace and compassion. She cared, listened and taught. When asked how she persevered, she simply repeated her favorite hymn, "just trust and obey for there is no other way." The writer of Hebrews stated that those who are faithful in discharging their assignments here will receive from the Heavenly Father, as promised, an amazing inheritance. Bessie L. Kennedy received her amazing inheritance on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Welcome home, Bessie, "Well-done, good and faithful servant." Bessie L. Kennedy was preceded in death by her husband, Martin T. Kennedy Sr; her parents, James and Bertha Brittain, sisters, Marguerite Jones and Nancy Shanks; and one brother, James Douglas Brittain. She is survived by one brother, John Robert Brittain; three children Peggy Ann Peters, Martin T. Kennedy Jr. and Kirby Kenneth Kennedy; five grandchildren, Kimberly Dawn Peters, Robert Lee Peters II, Melissa Lanette Kennedy, Sarah Elizabeth Kennedy and Laura Brittain Kennedy; and five great-grandchildren, Kathryn Ariana Coss, Kristen Briana Coss, Cameron Lee Peters, Tiffany Zoe Peters and Harper Alyse Keenright as well as a host of other family and friends. A memorial service to celebrate Bessie's life will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the First Baptist Church to begin at 10 a.m. Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home. To send condolences, go to www.lapaz-grahams.com.
Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on May 10, 2013