William H. Kennedy, 89
AIKEN, SC - Dr. William H. Kennedy of Aiken, SC, passed away on Tues., August 7th, 2012, at Aiken Regional Medical Center, due to complications from heart disease.
Bill was born in Oil City, PA on October 4th, 1922, a son of the late Harry C. Kennedy and Janet Allison Kennedy.
Bill and his younger brother Harry would become 3rd generation optometrists in the Oil City family optometry practice started by their grandfather. After receiving his degree from the Philadelphia College of Optometry, Bill enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and was trained at the Optical School at the US Naval Medical Depot in Brooklyn, NY where he met his wife Dorothy. He was deployed with the first Naval Mobile Optical Unit and served in New Guinea and the Philippines during WWII.
Upon returning from the war, Bill began practicing optometry in Titusville and Oil City, PA. He married Dorothy Meyer of Brooklyn, NY in 1947 and they would spend nearly 65 years together. Bill was active in the Titusville Lions Club and their eyeglass donation programs. In 1959, he was honored to be chosen to portray Col. Edwin Drake during the centennial celebrations of the birth of the oil industry in Titusville.
After retiring from his optometry practice in 1985, Bill and Dorothy relocated to Cocoa Beach, FL. In recent years, they also resided in Aiken, SC. Bill’s avid interests included jazz and classical music, cars, NASCAR and family. He was a member of the Riverside Presbyterian Church in Cocoa Beach. A lifetime highlight for Bill was his participation in an Honor Flight to Washington, DC, this past spring. He was amazed at the adulation that he and the other WWII vets received throughout the trip. He never considered himself a hero, but believed that he was just doing his necessary duty to his country. Although he lost most of his eyesight and hearing in the last few years, Bill never complained and treasured his time with family and old friends.
Bill is survived by his wife Dorothy, his brother Harry Kennedy of Wickenburg, AZ, daughters Deborah Kennedy LaBerge of Windsor, SC, Beth Ann Kennedy of Nashville, TN and granddaughter Beth Ann LaBerge of San Francisco, CA.
A memorial service will be held in FL at a later date.
Contributions in William H. Kennedy’s name can be made to The Honor Fleet Network at www.honorflight.org or to The Lions Club Sight Programs at www.lcif.org.
Please visit the online guestbook at www.shellhouseriversfuneralhome.com. SHELLHOUSE - RIVERS FUNERAL HOME, 715 EAST PINE LOG RD., AIKEN, SC