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James Arthur Kennedy

1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
James Arthur Kennedy Obituary
James Arthur Kennedy
Resident of Saratoga
James Arthur Kennedy passed away quietly on October 11, 2017. Jim was born on Oct. 27, 1929 in Pittsburgh, Pa., the second of James and Margaret Kennedy's three children. Jim lost his wife Mary in 2013, who had been a driving life force, his adventure director, and the light of his life.
Jim's parents worked hard to provide him and his siblings with a loving, nurturing upbringing, despite the challenges of the Great Depression. He attended Duke University and graduated in 1951 with a degree in business. Upon graduating, Jim assumed he would go to war in Korea, but learned that he was 4-F, the result of a childhood hip injury. So, he entered the business world, hiring on with Alcoa and transferring to Buffalo, NY, where he met Mary. The two were married in 1953 and started life in Syracuse, NY, although all the while Mary had a powerful yen to move to the Bay Area, where she had briefly taught elementary school. With a rapidly growing family, this dream was postponed until 1969, when Jim and Mary bravely gave up life in the rust belt for sunny California. Jim changed careers from corporate middle management to stock broker, and Mary went back to teaching. They worked hard in their productive years to put five children through college, but soon discovered that having bought real estate in Saratoga was the best financial move they could have made.
The Kennedys began traveling to Europe in 1979 and continued every year until they had logged over twenty overseas excursions. Mary was an absolute Anglophile, so they began doing home exchanges with British couples, to allow them time to settle in and explore the English countryside. Jim would probably never have gone on these adventures on his own, but Mary's passion for it was contagious. Between trips to England, they would nurture their enjoyment of British culture by watching PBS shows from the BBC. These European journeys were perfect for Jim because he took an immense interest in history. He was extremely well-read, and was an expert on Western European and American history. He was especially fascinated by anything having to do with World War II.
Jim was a born athlete and grew up playing team sports. For a little guy, he held his own, and continued playing softball well into his seventies. He was a star in the Vintage league! Jim was also an avid Bay Area sports fan, closely following the Giants, A's, 49ers, and Warriors, as well as Stanford men's and women's basketball, and of course, Duke.
Jim is survived by his five children Priscilla, Elizabeth, John, Jane, and Bill; his sons and daughters-in-law Tom, Bill, Charlotte and Mark; and his ten grandchildren, Tim, Patrick, Sarah, Margaret, Mary Ann, Ellen, Cameron, Julia, James, and Clara. He was predeceased by his sister, Mary Curtis and is survived by his brother, David Kennedy.
Friends are invited to help celebrate Jim's life, his sense of humor, and his sweet, positive attitude at a simple memorial on Friday, Nov. 10 at 3:00 at Oak Hill Funeral Home in San Jose.

View the online memorial for James Arthur Kennedy
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, 2017
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