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Death of Thomas G. Kennedy reported

Octbober 16, 2000

Thomas G. Kennedy died suddenly October 14, 2000, in Erie, Pa., while on a visit to his brother-in-law, Larry White, and family. A resident of Ringgold, Ga., a suburb of Chattanooga, Tenn., Kennedy was 73.

Born in Bellwood, near Altoona, Pa., he grew up in Vintondale, where he graduated from Vintondale High School in 1945. There he also met his then-future wife, Delores ("Sally") White, who was living at the time with her aunt, Hazel Oblackovich, and family in order to attend Vintondale High School. After a stint in the US Navy just after World War II, he and Sally married.

Kennedy attended a school for the then-pioneering field of television repair in Tulsa, Okla., after which he joined RCA Service Company, which he stayed with for the rest of his working life, retiring in the late 1980s as a manager. His jobs with RCA were primarily in Detroit and Saginaw, Mich., and in Shreveport, La. He also studied at Wayne State University, Detroit.

A Baptist from his youth, he served as a deacon and treasurer of an independent Baptist church in Chattanooga.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Cleota Kennedy, and his wife, and a brother, Gary A. Kennedy. He is survived by daughters, Linda Carlton and Erin Stroud, of Chattanooga, and son, Patrick, of Hickory, N.C., and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by brothers Robert L. Kennedy, retired businessman of Willows, Calif., and Jon R. Kennedy, a writer and web developer of San Jose, Calif.

Tom Kennedy in Ireland, 1998

Kennedy was a golfer and a travel enthusiast. His journal of his journey to Ireland with his brother Jon in a fly-drive tour in 1998 can be found on the Nanty Glo Home Page. He also submitted the class list for the Vintondale High School Class of 1945, and participated in an online dialogue about the death of his younger brother, Gary, in an auto accident in Belsano in 1957. He also accompanied his brother Jon on a visit to Nantyglo, Wales, which both considered the highlight of their vacation in October 1999. In recent years he had been in regular attendance at the annual Vintondale Homecoming, including that event and his class 55th anniversary reunion over Labor Day weekend 2000.

His daughter Erin reported that her father was accompanied on his trip to Erie by his daughter Linda. At the end of a wedding attended with his daughter and the White family, he was greeting a longtime acquaintance when he was stricken and attempts at recovery at the site and subsequently at an emergency facility failed. Though he took prescribed medicine for high blood pressure, he'd had no previous incidence of heart trouble and, according to Erin, had been declared fit at a physical exam less than a week before his trip.

Memorial service was Thursday, October 19; the Heritage Chapel Funeral Home at 7454 East Brainerd Road in Chattanooga was in charge.

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