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Lorena Joan “Jo” Roediger Kennedy was born June 27, 1926, to Pearl Agnes Reid Roediger and Harvey Edwin Roediger, near Junction City, Kansas. She died February 2, 2021, at her current residence in Arkadelphia, AR.
Lorena attended Brookside School, a two-room schoolhouse on the Kansas prairie during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. She moved into Junction City to attend high school and lived with various family and friends so that she could work and attend school. She graduated in 1943 from Junction City High School.
Lorena married Earl Craig Kennedy in the early morning hours of August 3, 1945, after riding the train from Junction City, Kansas to Fort Benning, Georgia, where Craig was stationed. After the military, they made their home in Columbia, Missouri, while Craig attended the University of Missouri. Lorena sold Reader’s Digest magazines and books to support them and Craig’s brother, Elmo, who was living with them. After Craig’s graduation, Lorena and Craig lived in several southern cities while Craig pursued a career in the welding supply business. In the late 60’s Lorena joined Craig at Red Ball Oxygen Co. in Shreveport, LA, to help him run the office of their newly acquired business. For the next thirty plus years, Lorena used her life lessons of hard work and discipline to help Red Ball Oxygen grow into the successful business that it is today. Lorena shared the success of her hard work by financially supporting numerous relatives and friends in their educational endeavors. She was also a generous philanthropist and supported many community organizations and churches.
Lorena was predeceased by her parents, her husband Earl Craig Kennedy, and her son, Gary M. Kennedy. She is survived by her daughter Judith K. Storer and husband Craig, her son Larry E. Kennedy and wife Christine, and her daughter-in-law Lydia Kennedy. Also surviving her are her grandchildren Sarah K. Nelson and husband Danny, Alex Kennedy and wife Elizabeth, Claire Kennedy, Amelia K. Craft and husband Spencer, Quinn Kennedy, James Storer, and step-grandsons Aaron Storer and wife Mandy and Andrew Storer and wife Lily. Lorena is also survived by her brother Norvan Roediger and wife Barbara; her sisters-in-law Jean K. Russell, Betty K. Sewell, and Nancy K. Moore; her brother-in-law Berry and his wife Amy; and numerous great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to thank Lorena’s caregivers Eva Aguilar and Penny Medley for their dedicated care.
Lorena was much loved and will be missed greatly. A celebration of Lorena’s life will be held in June in Arkadelphia, AR. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to the 3rd Street Baptist Church, 224 Crawford St., Arkadelphia, AR 71923, or St. Mark’s Cathedral, 908 Rutherford St., Shreveport, LA 71104 or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements by Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home , 517 Clay St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923.
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