John W. Kennedy
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John W. Kennedy

Bucyrus - John W. Kennedy, 80, died early Friday, April 2, 2021 at Carlisle Place under the watchful care of his family and Kindred Hospice.

He was born in Bucyrus on October 23, 1940 to the late Paul C. and Virginia M. (Crall) Kennedy. After graduating from Bucyrus High School in 1958, John attended Heidelberg College for two years as a music major. He returned to marry his high school sweetheart, Joyce E. Sours, on June 18, 1960. He was employed by Farmers Citizens Bank of Bucyrus from 1961-1970 and graduated from Ohio School of Banking at this time. He then joined First Federal Savings and Loan, graduated from the Ohio Savings and Loan Academy, and served as President and CEO at his retirement in 2003.

John was a people person and eternal optimist who truly saw the good in everyone. He was a hard worker whether at his job, his music, or serving his church and community. His involvement included the Bucyrus Kiwanis Club since 1953, serving as President, Treasurer, two terms as Lt. Governor, and Life Membership in 2014; VP of Crawford Co. Development Board; Crawford County Community Concert Assn. Board; long-time member and former Secretary/Treasurer of Crawford County Community Improvement Corp.; member and President of the John Q. Shunk Association; Bucyrus City Band; New Washington Village Band; organized Concerts in Aumiller Park starting in 1980; Red Cross Board with several years as chairman; lifelong member of St. John's United Church of Christ serving as Deacon and Elder; Bucyrus Community Hospital Capital Campaign Leader; Bucyrus Salvation Army Board starting in 2001; Member of Sons of the American Legion and TAPS player for the Veterans Funeral Detail; Soup Kitchen Volunteer; Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2012; Bucyrus Schools Hall of Fame in 2018; Meals on Wheels volunteer starting in 2010; and driver for the Cancer Society and CONTACT. First Federal honored him by naming the John W. Kennedy Community Room in 2020 and the most recent recognition was in March 2021 with the Arts for Success Leadership Award in recognition of the tremendous impact John's music and volunteerism has made in Bucyrus and the surrounding area.

John may best be remembered by the John Kennedy Orchestra, Band, and Quartet which he organized with support from his father. His first gig was a New Years Eve Ball at the American Legion in 1955 and countless concerts were played until his health no longer allowed in 2019. He looked forward to trips to "The Lodge" in Pennsylvania with family and his closest friends. If you ever met him or shared even the shortest of conversations, please know that he was absolutely genuine, and you met the true, authentic John Kennedy.

He will be missed by his wife of 60 years, Joyce Kennedy; children, Lyne (Jerry) Starner and Bill (Sheila) Kennedy; grandchildren, Dane Kennedy, Orry (Ainslee) Kennedy, Luke (Ashley) Starner, and Allie (Beau) Hartman; great grandchildren; Brayden Kennedy, Maci Hartman, and Maren Hartman; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, John was preceded in death in February of this year by his sister, Pat Myers and in March by brother, Michael.

John will be laid to rest in Oakwood Cemetery. Services will take place on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at St. John's UCC, 120 S. Lane St., Bucyrus. Friends may call from 11 am-1:50 pm and the service will begin at 2:00 pm with Gary Schiefer officiating.

Donations can be made payable to Bucyrus Salvation Army, St. John's UCC, Bucyrus Kiwanis Club, or a charity of the donor's choice and given at the services or at Wise Funeral Service in Bucyrus. Memories and photos can be shared on John's tribute page at

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Published in Telegraph-Forum from Apr. 3 to Apr. 5, 2021.
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3 entries
April 7, 2021
John was so ch a friendly man. I knew him from the new washington band. May he rest in peace.
Peggy Opatken
April 7, 2021
Rest in peace John. You have always been a man of many talents and a personality to match. Sympathy and love to the family. Karol Krebs.
Karol Krebs
April 3, 2021
To the family,
So sorry for your loss.
Enjoyed going to concerts that was involved in whether it was in Bucyrus, Upper Sandusky, or Marion or other locations.
John will be missed by many.
Jim Forry. ,Sr & Patricia Lee
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