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Billy Joe Kennedy
January 16, 1937 ~ October 27, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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On Friday, October 27 2023 after a lengthy battle with dementia, Billy Joe Kennedy passed away in his home surrounded by family. He is survived by Janice, Chuck, Beth Anne and her husband Danny, granddaughter, Rachel and several nieces and nephews.
BJ was born on January 16, 1937, into the Rogersville household of Opal and Bertha Kennedy. Two years later, his brother Fred was born. He completed his high school education at Coffee High School in 1955. He furthered his education at Auburn University as an Electrical Engineering co-op student, then later joined IBEW 558 where he completed a five year apprenticeship as master electrician in 1965. In 1958, he married Janice James and to that union two children were born, Beth Anne and Chuck.
During his successful career as an electrician he earned the respect and reputation that brought attention to his detailed work ethic and he became known as a skilled engineer. He spent years at the local electrical construction companies of Garnet, Triangle and SpaceCo. Then working with international electrical companies of Ebasco, Duke Energy and Raytheon as a Senior Engineer of startup operations. He worked in a total of 23 states, the Virgin Islands, England and India.
In what leisure time he allowed himself, he enjoyed hunting deer in Waterloo and pheasant in Nebraska with his long time hunting buddies. He loved spending time at his camp and farm in Waterloo and spent many hours in the hunt house watching deer. He was a master craftsman in many disciplines and his family thought he could fix anything. He shared his “fix it” talents with many friends and family.
BJ and Janice are members at Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ, but for several years they worshiped at East Colbert Church where BJ assisted the mission work of the Saturday Fish Fry’s by directing cars in the parking lot with his flag and flashlight. He also served as a deacon at Darby Drive Church.
One of his proudest moments was when he pinned the flight wings on Chuck and when he held his only granddaughter, Rachel.
He was a man of few words, but when he spoke, people listened. He would be called kind hearted, talented, loyal, hard working, dedicated and a true “man’s man”.
A graveside service was held on Saturday at Florence City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Daisy’s Place in care of Sherrod Avenue Church.