NO. 17794 • Aug 6, 1927 – Jan 11, 2017
Died in Osprey, FL
Interred in Sarasota National Cemetery
Brigadier General (retired) Edwin Lyle Kennedy was born on August 6, 1927, in Waynesboro, Mississippi to Enoch and Eddye (Huggins) Kennedy. His early childhood was spent in Waynesboro but during the Great Depression his father's job as a State Highway Engineer took them to several locations throughout the state.
In 1940, the family settled in Gulfport. Mississippi where BrigGen Kennedy attended high school through the 11th grade. After his father was commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers during WWII, BrigGen Kennedy completed his high school education at Marion Military Institute.
In 1945, BrigGen Kennedy served in the US Navy until he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Upon graduating from West Point in 1950, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and sent to Korea as a platoon leader in the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. For his service in Korea, Lt Kennedy was awarded two Silver Stars, three Bronze Stars (with "Valor" device), and a Purple Heart Medal among other awards.
Returning stateside in 1951, Lt Kennedy was first stationed at Fort Jackson, SC where he met his future wife, Dolly Dean Beard. Their military travels took them to assignments around the world, first of which was Ankara Turkey, where the couple's first two children, Edwin Jr and Catherine, were born. Some years later while stationed at West Point, their third child, David, was born.
In 1965, he was promoted to Lt Colonel and was selected for the British Joint Services Staff College where, upon graduating, commanded an infantry battalion in the US Berlin Brigade. After his tour in Berlin, Lt Col Kennedy was selected for the US War College at Carlisle, PA. From there, Lt Col Kennedy served an extended tour of duty in Vietnam where he commanded the largest Army combat brigade, the 196th Light Infantry Brigade and was subsequently promoted to colonel.
He returned to the US to command the 197th Infantry Brigade at Fort Benning, GA followed by an assignment to serve in the Army's Senate Liaison Office in Washington, DC. It was during his tenure as a Senate Liaison Officer that Col. Kennedy was promoted to Brigadier General. BrigGen Kennedy was then assigned as an assistant division commander of the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. After his two-year assignment. he went on to Camp Zama, Japan for his final military service as Chief of Staff, US Army Japan for three years.
At the conclusion of his military service he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (highest peacetime military award), two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Silver Stars, seven Bronze Stars (Valor), and a Purple Heart Medal.
After 30 years of distinguished military service, BrigGen and Mrs. Kennedy moved to Sarasota in 1979 where BrigGen Kennedy worked as the Vice President of Construction for a local development company. He continued to enjoy his hobby from childhood, fishing, as well as playing golf.
In 2009, BrigGen Kennedy was awarded the Order of St. Maurice for his outstanding contributions to the Army's Infantry Branch by General David Petraeus.
Throughout his career as a military officer, BrigGen Kennedy never lost sight of the most important part of his life, his family. He adored Dolly and was a devoted father to his children providing them a unique opportunity to travel the world. Until his passing, BrigGen Kennedy lived in the Oaks with his devoted son, golfing companion, and avid sports fan, David. It is great comfort to his family knowing that BrigGen Kennedy has joined his wife Dolly. and their second child, Catherine, in Heaven.
Edwin is survived by his two sons. LtCol (Ret) Edwin L. Kennedy (Christine) of New Market, Alabama, and David B. Kennedy of Osprey, FL, grandsons Justin, David, and Geoffrey and their children, his youngest brother, Dr. William R. Kennedy (Susan) of Sarasota, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be conducted in Sarasota at the Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Gulf Gate Chapel, Wednesday. January 18, 017 at 2:30 p.m. with viewing and visitation at 1:30 p.m. Pastor Eric Want of Freedom Christian Church will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Freedom Christian Church of Sarasota, 4835 Beneva Road, Sarasota, Florida 34233; Methodist Children's Homes, Morrow Administrative Center Post Office Box 66 Clinton, Mississippi 39060-0066; The Humane Society of Sarasota County, 2331 15th Street Sarasota, Florida 34237.