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Robin Molyneaux Kennedy

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Robin Molyneaux Kennedy Obituary
(News story) Robin Molyneaux Kennedy, a longtime professor of law at the University of Toledo, former director of the college's mental health law clinic, and community volunteer, died Wednesday at his Sylvania Township home. He was 73.

He apparently died of a sudden heart failure, his wife of 42 years, Cynthia Kennedy, said.

Mr. Kennedy retired as a UT associate professor of law in 2013 after 40 years of teaching law. He specialized in clinical legal education and also taught family law and administrative law.

He was previously at different times the attorney-in-charge of a legal services project at a Cleveland hospital and a staff attorney with Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

Mr. Kennedy continued to teach part-time in retirement until the time of death.

He was a former vice chairman of the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism and a former board of trustees president of what now is the Unison Behavioral Health Group.

His professional memberships included Toledo Bar Association Pro Bono Program, the Ohio State Bar Association's family law specialization board, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services' ethics review committee, and the Ohio State Bar Association's continuing legal education advisory committee.

"He loved his fellow man," his wife said. "He was a friend of students. He took time for each and every one of them - not only in class, but also for those who came to him for help with the rigors of law school. His door was always open. ..."

"He loved life, and he would help anyone. And he loved his family," she said, adding that both his daughters followed in his footsteps, graduating from the UT College of Law.

His daughter Elizabeth Feniger added, "He was a mentor for sure. And that's why I wanted to go to law school and practice law."

Ms. Feniger recalled how her father had her participate in a mock trial he held with some of his students when she was 8 or 9 years old, with her playing the role of a witness to a traffic accident.

"At first, I didn't want to do it, but he insisted. ... I remember being on the stand and crying and looking straight at him, with him smiling and saying, 'You are OK. You'll get through it.' And I did. And that's how he was his whole life," she said.

Mr. Kennedy was born Jan. 6, 1945, in Cleveland to Ruth and Ralph Kennedy.

He was raised in the Cleveland area, where he graduated from Shaker Heights High School.

In 1967, Mr. Kennedy obtained a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame and three years later got a Juris Doctor degree from Case Western Reserve University.

He was admitted to the bar in Ohio in 1970 and in Florida in 1971.

In his free time, Mr. Kennedy enjoyed golfing and singing in a barbershop chorus and quartet. He was also a huge Notre Dame sports fan, his wife said.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Randolph Kennedy.

Surviving are his wife, Cynthia Kennedy; daughters, Elizabeth Feniger and Erin Kennedy; son, Patrick Kennedy; and six grandchildren.

Visitation will be at 4 p.m. Thursday at Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave.

Funeral Mass will begin at 11 a.m. Friday at Gesu Church, 2049 Parkside Blvd., with a reception at the University of Toledo College of Law immediately following.

The family suggests tributes to the Robin M. Kennedy Memorial Fund at the University of Toledo College of Law.

This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at [email protected], 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.
Published in The Blade on Oct. 15, 2018
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