James Albert Kennedy

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, August 9, 2018

On June 30, 2018 James Albert Kennedy went on to soar where the eagles roam free.  A West coast native, born in East L.A. and raised in Shafter, California, in true Sagittarius fashion he rambled all around and about adventuring, spending a little time here and there and everywhere before finally settling in Mill Spring, NC in 1999. 

James was a real character, totally unique and one of a kind.  His humor was abundant, frequently off color and brilliant. Towering in stature and presence, with a larger than life heart that he wore on his sleeve. He loved to meet and talk with people, all sorts of people from all kinds of backgrounds and all walks of life. Adored and missed by his Beloved girl and partner, Mary Evelyn Tolles, inseparable since they met and feeling 22 years together was far too short.  A lifelong motorcycle enthusiast, he made friends wherever he traveled.  In October 2017 he suffered an unfortunate motorcycle accident and subsequent cardiac related injuries when a driver who did not see him turned in front of him.  He valiantly tried to regain his former health and vigor but sadly could not.  In his memory- Please remember to look twice and save a life, motorcycles are everywhere.     

There are many dear friends that departed before him, and many dear friends he has left behind…

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May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back. 

May the sun shine warm upon your face; 

the rains fall soft upon your fields 

and until we meet again-

may God hold you in the palm of His hand…

James is survived by his sons, James Albert Kennedy Jr of Mill Spring, NC and Jesse Malcolm Kennedy; his grandson, Jesse Malcolm Emmanuel Kennedy (aka JJ) of Northglenn, CO; his brothers, Raymond Dale Kennedy (Shawna) of Oildale, CA and Horace Wayne Kennedy (Colleen) of Roseville, CA.  Also surviving are numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, great and great-great nieces and nephews.  Everyone and All loved and missed dearly.

He was predeceased by his parents, Jesse James and Edith Ruby (Long) Kennedy and two of his siblings, Barbara Ann Hendricks and Roy Eugene Fitzjarrell.

Growing up and coming of age in California in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, having at various times in his life suffered abuse, addictions, homelessness, and loss, there wasn’t really anything or anybody that James could not find compassion for.  He walked through many fires, learned and grew throughout his lifetime, letting go of old beliefs as he outgrew them.  In his virtuous nature, he was amazingly generous, loved children, animals, the elderly, veterans, the homeless, and those that struggled with trials and tribulations. Anyone wishing to honor his memory is encouraged to accept fellow people with love and compassion and understanding and if so inspired to contribute to whatever charity moves them in helping ease another’s suffering.

 A big celebration of his life is planned for Saturday August 18 starting at 2pm at the farm he called home for so many years at 633 Edgerton Rd in Mill Spring, North Carolina.  Contact number 828-817-5770.  Open invitation to all who love James and would like to share in his memories, he will live forever.

An online guest register is available at www.mcfarlandfuneralchapel.com

McFarland Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Tryon