Daniel Edgar KennedyJanuary 8, 1951 ~ July 11, 2017 (age 66)
Sadly, we share the news that Daniel Edgar Kennedy of Tiger, GA, tragically passed away Monday, July 10. Dan was doing what he loved…riding his ATV in the mountains. He took a ride in the mountains Monday night something that he enjoyed to do and after several hours had passed and Debby had not heard from him and could not reach him. She called 911 and they dispatched a search and rescue unit. After 10 hours of searching with helicopters, K9s and bloodhounds, they found his body and he was deceased. From what they can tell, he went on a path that was very steep and when he came across an oak tree in the path, he tried to swerve and his ATV tipped over. They believe he suffered a head injury that disoriented him. The evidence indicates that he tried to find his cell phone that was thrown from the vehicle, but was unable to locate it. Due to being disoriented and it being very dark, he stumbled into a rocky cliff concave area where he fell to his death. They believe he didn’t suffer and that his death was immediate. We were notified Tuesday, July 11 around 4:30pm. The search and rescue team was able to find his phone and we were able to see that he was taking pictures of nature and his journey up the mountain with the beauty around him. He always said he felt closer to God when he was in nature. One of his favorite sayings was “The mountains are calling me” and the mountains did call him home to our Lord. He died doing what he loved. We are broken and cannot believe that he is gone. He was 66, healthy and full of life. He was so loved by so many.
In all of this we know that God is good. He is good even in the midst of loss and we know that Dan, who accepted Jesus Christ the Lord as his Savior in 1981, is resting peacefully in our Savior’s arms. We miss him like crazy…the hurt is almost more than we can bear, but even in this storm, we praise God that he gave him some mercy and took him home quickly and we are so blessed with so many friends, family and coworkers who are loving us and praying for us during this devastating time.
He is preceded in death by his dad, Merrill Kennedy. Dan is survived by his mom and step-dad, Ida and Clyde Bish, his brother and sister in law, Dwight and Susan Kennedy, his sister, Janet Kennedy, his brother and sister-in-law, David and Michelle Kennedy and his sister and brother in law, Judy and Mike Pastore, his wife, Debra Kennedy, his daughter and son-in-law, Jennifer and Joe Ignacio, his daughter and son-in-law, Jody and Paul Peach and his three grandchildren, Elijah Escontrias, Evangeline Escontrias and Nayeli Peach.
Dan was born in Quakertown, PA in 1951. He met his beautiful wife, Debra, in 1970 and after a whirlwind romance, they were married 4 months later and have spent the last 47 years together. They shared a love of so many things including music, spending time in nature, art, movies, hiking, biking, swimming and being surrounded by family and friends as much as possible. Their oldest daughter, Jennifer, was born in 1973 and their youngest daughter, Jody, was born in 1975. As much as Dan loved his daughters that love was multiplied a million times when his grandchildren came along. They call him “Poppop” and adore him and will always cherish the many wonderful memories of the fun and love they shared with their Poppop.
After working for Merial for 20 years as their Global IT Director, he retired in 2013. He was a genius with anything computers. Dan loved the outdoors. He always said it was his sanctuary. He experienced his lifelong dream of retiring to his cabin in Tiger, GA. He called it his “Happy Place” and was even able to name his own road, “Tranquility Place.” He spent his days hiking, riding his Pioneer ATV and doing anything outdoors. Even in retirement he had to have projects to keep him busy and kept his cabin and the surrounding wooded areas pristine working the land with his hands. His love for photography resulted in millions of pictures of nature and his family which he proudly shared.
He loved being involved in the community and was recently voted as president of the Friends of Tallulah Gorge. He was so excited about this position and being able to have a positive effect on maintaining the beauty of this iconic landmark.
The family welcomes all friends and family to join us at the Kennedy cabin for a memorial service on Sunday, July 16, 2017 at 10:00 am by their creek where he loved to be in nature. There is a short walk to the creek. Please dress in outdoor attire (tennis shoes and umbrella suggested) as this is what he would have loved the most…everyone outside enjoying God’s beautiful creation rain or shine. We will have a luncheon following the service.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to The ALS Association, 1275 K Street NW, Suite 250, Washington, DC 20005. Their website is www.alsa.org.