We offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. William “Bill” N. Kennedy, who died on April 28, 2019, at the age of 69.
Bill was born on June 11, 1949, in San Francisco, CA, where he grew up. He received his Bachelor of Science in Broadcasting from San Diego State University in 1972. Afterwards he worked for thirty years in TV broadcasting before heeding his call toward ministry. In 2005, Bill graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry with a Master of Divinity.
Rev. Kennedy was ordained by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, CA, on September 26, 2009, where he served as an affiliated Community Minister. Prior to his ordination, he fulfilled his parish internship at the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church, WA (2004-2005) and served the Unitarian Universalist of San Mateo, CA in 2007 as an Adjunct Minister. Rev. Kennedy retired from active ministry in 2017.
Rev. Kennedy dedicated much service to the Unitarian Universalist denomination. Prior to his ordination he served the UU Fellowship of Redwood City on the Board of Trustees, as Chair, and Chair of the Building & Grounds Committee, as well as the Worship Committee and taught Our American Roots, a History curriculum (over three sessions) in October of 2005. He was a member of the Starr King School for the Ministry Chapel Committee (2002-2004); Chair for the UU Committee on Ministry; and Chair and Co-District Networker for the Partner Church Council. Furthermore, Rev. Kennedy helped devise the theme, create and facilitate workshops for the Pacific Central District Men’s Retreat (2002-2004).
Outside his denominational work, Bill was devoted to promoting health and access to health care; he was an advocate for patients who experienced barriers to care, language, and finances. He worked with the Peninsula Interfaith Action in support of San Mateo County ACE Health Care Program for the uninsured and participated in Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in training, fundraising, advocacy and support. In his spare time, Bill enjoyed hiking and biking, particularly the coastal redwoods. In 2000, he participated in a century ride around Lake Tahoe, and raised money for blood cancer research and support.
Bill’s wife noted after his death: “Bill was loved by many and is sincerely missed”.
Rev. Kennedy’s colleagues had these lovely words to offer:
Rev. Judy Welles: “Bill was a cherished colleague and longtime friend. We met on the bus in Transylvania where I first experienced his warm heart, acerbic wit, and gentle compassionate nature”.
Rev. Thomas Anastasi: “I will always remember Bill as the best intern minister you could ever have”.
Rev. Cecilia Kingman: “Bill was a gift to me and I’m so grateful we were friends”.
Rev. Theresa Hardy: “Bill was a joy, welcomed you, encouraged you, made it feel like somebody was thrilled you were there at the moment for that event, large or small”.
Bill is survived by his wife Geri; his son Adam; his daughter Amanda; and his beloved granddaughter Iola.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s own choosing, as well as to the International Myeloma Foundation or the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation or the Sempervirens Fund.
A celebration of Bill’s life took place at 2 pm on Saturday May 25, 2019 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, 2124 Brewster Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94062. Notes of condolences may be sent to the Geri L. Kennedy at 7811 S. 113th St., Seattle, WA 98178.