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Leonora C. Kennedy
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Obituary for Leonora C. Kennedy

LEONORA “LEE” CECILIA SLOAN KENNEDY, 89, of Newtown Square, PA, died Tuesday, January 9, 2018. She was born on September 19, 1928 in Philadelphia, PA, daughter of Charles Carroll and Helen Sloan, who predeceased her.

Lee grew up in Drexel Hill and was a standout on the basketball court, playing for both school and league teams. She graduated from Notre Dame Academy in 1946 and pursued a career in music and theater, refining and perfecting her craft over the next decade with work in Summer Stock and Plays & Players, where she earned her Actor’s Equity Card.

It was through music that Lee met the love of her life, musician Patrick Francis Kennedy, when both attended a post-recording get-together at the home of a mutual friend. Pat said from the first time he heard Lee sing, he knew she was "the one." Pat and Lee continued to perform together at various gigs and appeared regularly on Grady & Hurst’s Music Hour where they announced their engagement via a live performance of “Secret Love.” On Oct. 1, 1955, Pat and Lee were married at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Drexel Hill, PA. Dear friend, Rev. Charles Hordis, OSFS (also a great jazz bassist) presided over the ceremony. 

The family moved to Newtown Square in 1961, where Lee was an active member of the Delaware County, PA, community until her passing. She was a member of St. Anastasia’s parish for over 56 years, where she sang in the choir and performed as a vocalist at many weddings, holiday masses, and memorial services accompanied by her son, Charlie, and husband, Pat. She worked in the athletic dept. of Marple Newtown High School, taught swimming lessons at Suburban Swim Club, and was an avid competitive tennis player at both St. Albans Swim Club and Springton Tennis, enjoying the sport well into her seventies.

Throughout their lives, Lee & Pat loved hosting “jam” sessions in their backyard. Lee often accompanied Pat on gigs with Dixieland jazz ensembles all over Philadelphia and New Jersey, where she was a featured vocalist.

Lee and her best friend, Estelle “Stelle” Cincotta performed together as “A Couple of Swells,” bringing lighthearted comedy, song, and dance to birthday & anniversary parties, and many nursing homes throughout the area for nearly 20 years.

Lee was known for her passion for music and theater, her mischievous sense of humor, natural charisma, and love of social gatherings. She always had a soft spot for animals, enjoying the company of Juno, Pookie, and most recently, Phinneas Valentino.

Lee was a presence larger than life—sassy, fierce, strong and stubborn—and yet never lost her childlike wonder and awe, always seeing the magic in the simplest of things.

Lee and her family are grateful to those who cared for her as if she were family, particularly Bernice Weanquoi, whose loving dedication and care afforded Lee the quality of life she so wanted.

Lee’s family would also like to thank Wendy Walsh, RN, and the staff at Surrey Services of Devon, PA; Rachael Becker DeCecco; Dr. David M. Ho, of Bryn Mawr, PA; Terry Alexander, RN, of Millenium Healthcare; the nursing staff of the 6th floor oncology/hospice unit at Bryn Mawr Hospital, and especially David T. Videon and the Frank C. Videon Funeral Home of Broomall.

Lee is survived by her son, Charles Carroll, daughters, Mary Christine, Therese, Sheila Ann, and Patricia Lee (James Barlow). She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Thomas Kennedy (Helen) and many beloved nieces and nephews. Her sisters, Helen Foster and Lillian Hamilton, predeceased her. Funeral mass will be held Monday, January 15 at 11:00AM in St Anastasia’s Church, 3301 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, 19073, where friends may call 10:00-10:45am. Friends are also invited to her viewing Sunday evening, January 14th, from 6:00-8:00pm in the Frank C. Videon Funeral Home, Sproul and Lawrence Rds, Broomall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent in her name to an animal shelter of your choice, or to Suburban Seahawks Club, 3615 Gradyville Road, Newtown Square, PA 19073.

Internment SS Peter & Paul Cemetery, 1600 South Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.

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