John Quigley Kennedy, 83 of Olathe, passed away on March 24, 2018. He was born on June 21, 1934 in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, to James and Blanche Kennedy. John is survived by Sally, his loving wife of 60 years, his daughters, Colleen Markman and husband Richard, Teri Jones DeRyder and husband Ed, Kim Roberts and husband Joe, and Randy Jones, along with grandchildren Tom Markman and wife Annie, Tim Markman, Kevin Jones and wife Ally, Danny Jones, Nick Roberts, Tana Snyder and husband Shane, Taylor Roberts, and two great grandchildren Braylen Jones and Esther Snyder, dear friends, Dallas Sissel, Jim Bessler, and Dennis and Becky Vrbas along with other friends too numerous to name. John was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Timothy and sister, Kathleen.
John served in the Army from 1953 to 1959 stationed in France in the Korean War and in Ft. Huachuca, AZ.
He was honorably discharged in 1959 having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant. John also served in the Navy Reserve from 1951 to 1953 and the Army Reserve from 1973 to 1983. Through the GI Bill, John was able to attend and was proud to have graduated from Central Michigan University in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
John was a salesman from the time he was a toddler, starting his first paper route at four years old. He also was a butcher, a welder, a popcorn popper, golf caddy, grocery clerk, and an electrician. But most of all he was a salesman at heart, it was a well-known fact he could even sell ice to an Eskimo. He was a salesman for Jostens Jewelry, Dow Corning, General Electric and Technics 2000. Throughout the years, John pursued numerous entrepreneurial ventures. He owned a restaurant in Lawrence, KS, several print shops in Johnson County, Shamrock Office Supplies in Lenexa, KS and Kwik Kopy Kwik Mail in Olathe, KS. John never really retired and continued to update his resume and apply for jobs throughout the remainder of his life.
John and Sally were life-long sweethearts. He first proposed to Sally when he was six and she was three years old.
Even though she kicked him in the shins, he never gave up and was determined to marry his soulmate. His persistence paid off and they married in September of 1957. John was married to Sally for over 60 years, celebrating their 60th anniversary this past September. But John’s proudest accomplishments were his three daughters.
John was as active in his girls’ lives as he could be while focusing on making their lives better than his life had been. In a time when girls played only with dolls, John made sure his daughters played with hot wheels cars and race tracks, bats and balls and basketball hoops. They learned all the details of football, hockey, basketball, baseball and golf. John encouraged his daughters’ many interests and attended as many events as possible including football games, marching band events, ballet recitals, orchestra concerts and school plays. His goal was to raise strong-willed, independent, out-spoken daughters which he later found to be not too advantageous.
John enjoyed volunteering for his community. For many years he and his 3 elves spent the month of December as Santa, visiting families in Johnson County. Donations that were received were given to the Ronald McDonald House. He completed the Sherriff’s Citizens Academy and volunteered for the Sherriff’s department for many years. One of the things he did every year was serve the police department his famous coney dogs on the 4th of July. He was a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church and served with Knights of Columbus St. Philippine Duchesne 4th degree assembly.
Prayers of the Rosary will be offered on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 6:30pm, followed by visitation until 8:00pm Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, Olathe, KS. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, 16000 W. 143rd, Olathe, KS on March 28, 2018 at 10:00am. The burial will follow at St. Johns Cemetery, Pflumm Rd and W. 89th Terrace, Lenexa, KS.
Those who wish may donate in John's name to The Ronald McDonald House and/or Prince of Peace Catholic Church.
Special thanks to the nurses and staff at the Healthcare Resort of Olathe for all the care, comfort and love they provided to John and his family.