Bill Kennedy, longtime resident and Mosier businessman, passed away Friday, March 8, 2019 at the age of 84. He was surrounded by family at the Hood River Memorial Hospital.
Bill was born in Collinsville, Okla. January 16, 1935 to Lester Leroy and Twyla Flora (Hawkins) Kennedy, Bill’s family moved frequently as his father followed heavy construction jobs from state to state. He started school in Likely, Calif., having lived on many military construction sites including Muroc, Calif., and Fallon, Nev., until at age 13, Bill moved with his family to Mosier, Ore., where Bill graduated from Mosier High School in 1953. At Mosier School Bill met Gloria Jean Evans. After high school, Gloria attended college and Bill took correspondence courses in drafting. Bill and Gloria married on September 1, 1957 at the Mosier Christian Church upon her return from college.
Bill worked for Cass Heim at Heim Grocery Story in Mosier, Ore. The store was later owned by Willard Greene. Bill and his wife Gloria purchased the Robert Andrews Grocery Store in 1958, thus the beginning of Bill’s Market in Mosier. He was certified as a locksmith in the mid-1970s. In 1976, he worked for Watson Asphalt Paving Co. at night resurfacing I-84 between Mosier and Rowena. From there he worked for Strausser Well Drilling. In 1979 Bill started Kennedy Excavating.
Bill is well known in Mosier to those who have known him through the years for his sense of humor and practical outlook on life. He found the foibles of others humorous and was quick to share humorous and sometimes shocking stories he experienced as an excavator uncovering or covering things in the grounds of Mosier Valley. He loved his family, traveling, Portland Trailblazer games, football, using his metal detector, and of course being a rock hound making jewelry from rocks he found.
Bill volunteered for the Mosier school youth basketball program. He was the Mosier Boy Scouts Scoutmaster from February 1975 to January 1977 and Assistant Scoutmaster February 1977 to February 1981. He served Mosier as councilman and Mayor several times. He was a member of the Wasco County Planning Commission during the time of the Rajneesh era, and for many years was involved with the Mosier Fire Department, and Wasco County Search and Rescue.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife Gloria Kennedy of Mosier, Ore., his four children; Rick Kennedy of Caddo Valley, Ark., Terry Kennedy (and wife Sherri) of Hood River, Ore., Penny Kennedy of The Dalles, Ore., Dale Kennedy of Mosier, Ore.; his sister Rosa Lee (Kennedy) Stuart of Salem, Ore.; grandchildren Fitzpatrick Kennedy of Redmond, Ore.; Savanna (Kennedy) Stein (husband Myken) of Fruitland, Idaho; Jenna Kennedy of Hood River, Ore.; Matthew Neal (wife Lizzie) of Everett, Wash.; great grandchildren Monte and Matthew Stein of Fruitland, Idaho; nephew Monte Stuart; niece Shelly Nichol; two great nieces, two great nephews; one great, great niece and nephew. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A celebration of life will be 11 a.m., Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Anderson’s Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River, Oregon. Interment will follow at Mosier Cemetery, 600 State Rd, Mosier, Oregon. Following the graveside service there will be a reception at the Mosier Grange, 400 4th Ave, Mosier, Oregon.
To leave a note of condolence for the family please visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com. In a sense of irony Bill hated computers and his service will be the first telecasted via Facebook live by Anderson’s Tribute Center.