RIP Jon Kennedy

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kru1
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RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by kru1 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:34 am

I don't know how to title this, or do I know what to say. I/we lost a good friend/club member/paddler yesterday on a Colorado stream. I have contacted everyone whose phone number I have, but for those of you who I don't, I post this message.

Jon was a husband, father, brother, and son, but to us he was a dear friend. He will be sorely missed.

His family has been contacted, but no arrangements have been set at this time.

The club will be doing something with details forthcoming.

RIP JFK
kru
Attachments
JFK_Tot.jpg
JFK, Tom
JFK_Kings.jpg
JFK, Jenny, Tyler, Thomas, KRU, Liz & Terri
I say, and I intend it emphatically, let the river be.
Thomas Hart Benton, on the Buffalo River

greg vanhorn
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by greg vanhorn » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:23 am

He welcomed me into the NW Chapter of the ACC. He smiled and shook hands and remembered names and offered advice. He was a true gentleman.

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magicmike
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by magicmike » Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:34 am

JFK will be missed. He was such a fun and positive energy on the river.-M-
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority,it's time to pause and reflect".

RobM
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by RobM » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:26 am

Hard to believe . He will be missed by all. So correct he was so full of energy & life . He shared that with all & he was ready to help anyone that needed it on or off the water. RIP Jon :(
See ya on the water,
Rob

Charles1967
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Charles1967 » Sat Jul 12, 2014 12:17 pm

What a terrible loss. Jon was at the Ford and introduced himself and told me all about WW kayaking, why I needed to be doing it, and about the ACC. One hour later I returned without my green hat, and he introduced himself and the sport AGAIN with the same excitement & joy. Thanks to that meeting(s), I kept coming back, meeting new people, and bought my first WW boat. RIP Jon Kennedy.
Siloam Springs resident a few miles from the Ford. ccoletexas@gmail.com - Charles

Owl
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Owl » Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:12 pm

News report from the Chaffee County TImes:

http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_ ... b2370.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Half Ton
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Half Ton » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Rough news to learn. Will be missed. Enjoyed JFK immensely, am saddened for his passing, for his family, friends, and anyone who never had the opportunity to meet the guy. What a reminder to never take anyone we hold dear for granted, and also a reminder for us all to make the most of every single day on this Earth.

Peace to his soul and deepest sympathy to his family.
"The challenge goes on. There are other lands and rivers, other wilderness areas, to save and to share with all. I challenge you to step forward to protect and care for the wild places you love best"

- Neil Compton

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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by summerbee » Sat Jul 12, 2014 3:57 pm

So very sad to see a good human being have to leave so soon. I did not know him well but his smile and humor were ever present. I'm sure Heaven is a livelier place. Likely, he is extolling the joys of paddling to some newbie up there. Peace be with you, Jon. Peace be with your family and all your many friends. Paddle on.

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BMuu
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by BMuu » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:07 pm

Jon you will be truly missed by me and many others.

I am still in disbelief, I have only had a few people I would consider close friends in my life and you are one of them. I am truly disappointed I will no longer be able to have you as the best man in my wedding.

I remember you were one of the first guys I started paddling with when I moved to a Arkansas 5 years ago. Back then we were just class 2 rec boaters paddling west fork in the afternoons at low water.

I will never forget piling into your jeep last minute on a weekday to head to the river at 6am. We both wanted to rise in the ranks and gain respect of the community to be known as solid skilled boaters.

We had lots of good times running personal first D together down the cossatot, Richland, Mill, Little Mill, Lee, West cedar, Hailstone, Boxley, Mulberry, Ocoee, Tanyard, Beech, Bobtail, Fishers ford, Frog bayou, Little mulberry, Middle fork, West fork and I'm sure I forgot a few.

Paddling just won't be the same without you. I am plastered with am image of your smile and enthusiastic voice in my head.
-Kyle

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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Joe Purdy » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:30 pm

I got home from my moms place and flipped on the 10 oclock news and the first thing I saw was Jon Kennedy's face and they gave his age and said how old he "was". I still can't believe it. I can't imagine the pain his wife and kids are feeling right now.
Jon, I have been away from the club for a while and can almost never make it to the meetings, but every time I saw you, you always had a huge smile and a slap on the back and talked to me like you had known me all your life. You always reminded me of the first time we met at boatball when you had just started getting into boating and how we got into a scuff the very first game over on the Illinois. I quickly learned what a solid guy you really were and I always look forward to seeing you when I was able to make it to the club activities...
I was able to get to know Jon a little better at "the ford" a couple of weeks ago and watched him almost bow squirt completely out of the top wave for the first time. It was awesome.

Jon, I will surely miss your smiling face and your kind welcoming personality every time I am with the club.
God bless you brother... Paddle on...
I wanna leave this world the same way I came into it... naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood...

we66erno1
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by we66erno1 » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:06 am

Gonna miss this guy a lot. Got to boat baker and the Cossatot with him a few weeks back and the the Ocoee a few weeks before. It's gonna suck to never hear his laugh after a good boof again. Or his jokes round a campfire. My prayers for his wife and kids.


But this hurts a ton.
Henry Ford said "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses."

prophet
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by prophet » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:03 pm

thats just sad. condolences to the family.

at Canoe School weekend i saw 3 groups go by from the bank. Jon's group was very noticeably laughing and encouraging each other (and boofing) at the end of a long weekend for everyone, just like has been mentioned.

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Shep
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Shep » Sun Jul 13, 2014 9:07 pm

**********
Post edited in light of some feedback. Needless to say I am angry at losing such an incredible person from this world. I could have picked a better way to express it.
Paul Shepherd

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats (said the water rat solemnly)." - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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Dr. Steve Yaney
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Dr. Steve Yaney » Tue Jul 15, 2014 8:26 am

From NWA online:
FAYETTEVILLE — Jon Kennedy was a man who threw himself into whatever passion was before him in life, and his ebullient presence affected nearly everyone around him.

Kennedy, who died Friday while kayaking a section of the Arkansas River in Chaffee County, Colo., is remembered by friends and family as a man who brought a sincere enthusiasm to both his own interests and the interests of those he cared about.

“He just wanted to live life very intentionally, and he did, every single day,” said Jennifer Ann Fuson, Kennedy’s wife of 12 years.

After completing an undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Central Arkansas, Kennedy pursued a graduate degree in the subject at Stony Brook University in New York before deciding to leave academia.

“He decided he would be happier doing work outside of academics,” Fuson said. “Something more tangible with everyday folks.”

In 2006, Kennedy began working as a systems analyst with Community Clinic, a series of health clinics in Washington and Benton counties, implementing the clinic’s electronic management system and training other employees in its use, said Kathy Grisham, the clinic’s executive director.

“But mainly, Jon was an enthusiastic supporter of our mission, helping people who didn’t have anywhere to turn for health care,” Grisham said.

Around 2008, Kennedy began pursuing an interest in kayaking the rivers of Arkansas. Over the course of about five years, he grew from novice to a well-known and beloved member of the Arkansas paddling community, achieving a certification as a Level 4 Whitewater kayaking instructor through the American Canoe Association. He was also certified in emergency CPR, wilderness first aid and swift water rescue techniques.

“That community was a place where Jon could be Jon,” said Cristie Ginther, Kennedy’s mother.

In August 2013, Kennedy was elected Vice President of the Arkansas Canoe Club’s Northwest chapter. Kristian Underwood, chapter president, said he was amazed at how skilled Kennedy had become after such a short time in the water.

“He was twice the paddler I am, and I’ve probably been doing it twice as long.”

Tom Burroughs, director of Ozark Safety and Rescue Educators and a close friend to Kennedy over the past five years, said kayaking triggered a transformation in Kennedy.

“It was a new world to him. It was something that was wild and dynamic, and in many ways, I think fulfilled that need for adventure that was latent within him,” Burroughs said. “As he began to explore more and more of our natural world, it just unleashed and opened him in a way he had probably never been opened before.”

Kennedy is survived by his parents, seven siblings, his wife and two sons.

A memorial service will be held from 2-4 p.m. Friday at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks


All my love to family and friends....we have lost a true Hero!
Dr. Steve

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Shep
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Re: RIP Jon Kennedy

Post by Shep » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:03 am

Steve, Thanks for posting the obituary.

I want to share an a little bit of an exchange I had with someone via PM this morning.

"All the guys I saw at the Ford back in winter, Jon was the only one that went beyond a nod - and walked over to introduce himself, the sport, and help me to realize it wasn't some exclusive club."

I'm sure it's been said earlier in this thread, but among the many things I hope we all learn from him is to be that guy at the Ford more often, and make people who don't know us feel immediately welcome in our "club". So next time you are on the river or at the ford with someone you don't know, and they are looking nervous or just not chatting with people, ask yourself WWJKD?

Thanks,
Paul
Paul Shepherd

"Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats (said the water rat solemnly)." - Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

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