William J. "Bill" Kennedy - 1930 - 2018


William "Bill" Kennedy, 88, passed away peacefully November 15, 2018, at his home in McMinnville, Oregon. He was born February 9, 1930, in Flat River, Missouri, to Evelyn and Homer Kennedy. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Vivian Kathleen. He was a wonderful husband and partner to his wife, Helen. They were married 68 years.
Bill was very proud of his family. They include his children, Dane Keith Kennedy (and wife Martha) and Glenda Jef Carter (and husband Ken); his three granddaughters, Megan Carter Schmidt (and husband Scott), Jennifer Carter Borden (and husband Adam) and Alene Kennedy Hendricks (and husband Peter); and two great-granddaughters, Hannah Schmidt and Hazel Hendricks.
Bill was an avid reader and collector of books. He opened a used book store in Visalia, California. He built wall-to-wall bookcases in every house he owned. Reading was a daily part of the family life.
He loved discussions and debates. Every day at the dinner table, Bill encouraged discussions about politics, community, school, history and any other topic anyone wanted to discuss. Bill insisted we back up our opinions with facts.
Bill was very active in civic and political affairs. He was chairman of the Visalia Historical Preservation Committee. He was chairman of the Tulare County Democratic Central Committee, an officer of the California Democratic Council, and an officer for the State Democratic Central Committee. In 1974 and 1976, he ran for the California 32nd Assembly District seat. Though unsuccessful, the L.A. Times said he received more votes for his money than any candidate in the state. In Portola, California, Bill served 12 years on the Portola City Council and one year as mayor. He was instrumental in establishing the River Walk along the Feather River and the Williams House as a Visitors Center and Museum.
Bill lived in Missouri, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Oregon. He loved to travel, especially in the mountains of the West. The family visited national parks by camper and took backpacking trips through the Sierra Mountains. They also took summer day trips from Visalia to the foothills to swim in the Kaweah River. Bill and Helen also put 40,000 miles on a new car touring Indian ruins in the Four Corners region.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at a later date.


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