Irving Farmer "Hap" Kennedy

Obituary
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Squadron Leader Irving Farmer 'Hap' Kennedy WWII Veteran DFC & Bar RCAF M.D. It is with great sadness that the family of Dr. 'Bus' Kennedy announce the passing of their beloved husband, brother, father and grandfather in his Cumberland home on Thursday, January 6, 2011. He was in his 89th year. 'Bus' is survived by his loving wife Fern (Dale), brother Laurie (Teresa), sister Joyce, daughters Ann and Carol (Dan), grandchildren Robin, Curtis, Laura, Mark and Sean, and many nieces and nephews; step daughters Nancy (Russ) and Martha (Graham) and their daughters Meredith, Robin, Samantha and son Peter. Fondly remembered by Dorothy Kennedy. Predeceased by his parents Robert and Eva, brother Robert Alvin (Ruth), brother Carleton 'Tot' in 1944, and sister Evelyn (Joe Burdett). Bus was born on February 4, 1922 in the family home in the village of Cumberland. At the age of 18, Bus enlisted in the RCAF in July 1940. His ambition was to be a fighter pilot and after flying Hurricanes in England in 1941 (263 Squadron RAF), he was transferred to Spitfires in 1942 (421 Squadron RCAF). In late 1942, he arrived in Malta (249 Squadron RAF). In Malta, 'Hap' (as he was known to his fellow pilots) was awarded, as an Ace, with the Distinguished Flying Cross. Years later he wrote of enthusiasm for the Allied effort in the Malta days. Due to be posted back to the UK, "the Invasion of Sicily was on and was too good to miss." He was given permission to join 111 Squadron in Sicily (1943) then transferred to 93 Squadron as a flight commander. Posted back to the UK in 1944, with the invasion of France looming, Hap joined 401 Squadron RCAF and with morale high, soon was in France after the Normandy Invasion. He was awarded with the bar to his DFC. In July, leading a Squadron, he was hit by flak, bailed out, and evaded capture with help from a French family and the Maquis. In England, he learned that his younger brother, Tot, had just been killed (Bomber Squadron 434). Hap returned to Canada. Hap often said of his war experiences that "it wasn't the combat but the deep comradeship" that he recalled with fondness. Years later, Hap was decorated with the French Legion of Honour. After the war, Hap studied medicine at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1950. Following internship, he worked as a physician to the Inuit through Indian & Northern Affairs and set up a general practice in Lanark. In 1961, returning to Cumberland, he built his own clinic where he practiced medicine for 37 years. He was greatly respected by thousands of patients throughout the township for his dedication and compassion as a country doctor. Retirement allowed Hap to further enjoy that which brought him greatest pleasure: his love of nature, reading, flying his aircraft out of Rockcliffe Flying Club, and his family. He was extraordinarily diverse in his interests and skills. He was a naturalist, a gardener, a philosopher, a teacher, an author, and a poet. He sang Robbie Burns, he quoted Robert Frost, he watched hockey; he was a thinker, advisor, listener, and a provider. He was a man of integrity and honesty, a humble man who shunned attention, yet drew people to him. He was gentle yet tough as nails. "I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, And that made all the difference. - The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost. Friends are invited to visit at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor) on Monday, January 10 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Salvation Army would be appreciated.
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Published in The Ottawa Citizen from Jan. 8 to Jan. 9, 2011
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