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Frank Kennedy, former postmaster, dies

By By Chris Allen Baker/staff writer
Jan. 10, 2002
Described as a devoted family man and community leader, Frank Semmes Kennedy Jr., 80, died Wednesday at Guardian Angel Hospice after a lengthy illness.
The former postmaster in Meridian for 33 years and a World War II U.S. Air Force veteran, Kennedy was described by his widow, Judy, as a man who loved family, friends, community and country.
Visitation is scheduled today from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at Barham Funeral Home. Services will be held at First Baptist Church on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with burial at Magnolia Cemetery.
Married in 1957, Judy said her meeting Kennedy was unexpected but turned quickly into a romance that lasted all the way to her sitting beside him in his last moments.
Judy said Frank loved to run and jog for exercise. He also enjoyed riding and traveling to see friends as far away as England. Throughout his life, he remained in touch with many of his friends, some going back to his college days at the University of Mississippi.
Some of Frank's closest friends will speak at his funeral Friday. They include Pete Griffis, longtime friend; John Price, college roommate; Charles Naylor, co-worker during Frank's days as postmaster; and Robert Hill, a friend from church. "Robert once said he became a Christian because of Frank," she said.
Devotion to his country took Kennedy across the U.S. during military training before he was stationed in England during WWII. During the war, he wrote letters constantly to his mother, all which were kept by the family.
Kennedy lost a younger brother, John, who was a B-17 pilot killed over the English Channel in an accident while in flight. Judy Kennedy said their son, John, is named after Frank's brother. Other survivors include two children, Kimberly K. Henry and Frank S. Kennedy III, and two grandchildren.
Kennedy earned his bachelor's degree in history at Ole Miss and later worked in insurance sales before becoming postmaster in Meridian. He supervised 138 post offices in East Mississippi and West Alabama as section manager.
He was a deacon at First Baptist Church and participated in many church and community activities. He was a life member of the Lions Club and served as campaign chairman and a staff member for former Gov. J.P. Coleman.

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