Thomas Elbert Kennedy (February 27, 1935 - May 19, 2014)

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Thomas Elbert Kennedy passed away on May 19, 2014, in the presence of family in Sequim.

Thomas was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on February 27, 1935, to Thomas E. and Alice A. Kennedy.

He was a graduate of Classical High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1953 and Northrop University in Los Angeles in 1971.

Thomas and Mary Anne were married for over 27 years and lived at Diamond Point near Sequim.

Thomas was an 8½-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He worked at Electric Boat testing nuclear submarines, Lockheed Aircraft on the L-1011 project and Northrop Corporation Edwards AFB on a 32-man team building the first F-18 Hornet.

In Bremerton at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, he started in Shop 51 as a journeyman, then became the staff quality assurance officer at the Naval Inactive Ships Maintenance Facility and finally served as the (staff) computer security officer at Naval Supply Center Puget Sound. He retired in 1995.

All his life, Thomas, as an avocation, was professionally involved in music. In his early years, he played clarinet in symphonic orchestras and concert bands and musicals.

In the Pacific Northwest, on the road and in Yuma, Arizona, he performed, singing to high-tech backing tracks, many of which he orchestrated himself.

He played keyboards and worked in nightclubs, fraternal and veterans clubs, and later in retirement and nursing homes as a single, duo (Aura) and with his trio band, the New Breed Express.

In 2003, Mary Anne retired from Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton, Washington. They traveled in their motor home throughout the western states and owned a home in Yuma, where they wintered until 2012.

His final years were spent at Diamond Point.

Thomas is survived by his by his wife, Mary Anne; children Katie Kennedy Johnson of Issaquah, Washington, Scott of Bremerton, Thomas Elbert Jr. of Fall River, Massachusetts, Patrick James of Plymouth, Massachusetts, Donna Marie Hernandez of Fall River, Elisa Christine Pound of Port Orchard, Washington; and many grandchildren, including Aiden and Madeline Johnson, Johnathan Days and Frank Ranuio, all of whom live locally.

A memorial service was held on May 23, 2014, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Sequim.

Thomas will rest at Tahoma National Cemetery, 18600 Southeast 240th Street in Kent, Washington. There will be a brief military ceremony for him there on Friday, June 20, at 1:30 p.m.

His history may be viewed on his website, http://members.aceweb.com/tek/famweb.

Memorial contributions can be made to Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, 540 East Eighth Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on June 8, 2014
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