Roberta Mildred Rickner Kennedy

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Roberta Mildred Rickner Kennedy passed away on Nov. 19, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she resided after moving from Massena, New York earlier this year, to be near her son and family. She was 95 at her passing. She was born in Lewistown, Montana on March 24, 1023 to Nell and Clawy Rickner.

›Many of her friends knew her as “Bobbie.”

As one of four children, Bobbie grew up on a ranch in Montana, many miles from the nearest town. She attended high school in Lewistown and moved to Seattle, Washington before joining the United States Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in 1943. She received basic training at Hunter College in New York City. Following duty stations were at Camp Lejuene, North Carolina; Camp Elliott, California; Camp Pendleton, California; Marine Corps Base San Diego, California; and Henderson Hall, Arlington, Virginia. She was discharged honorably as a Technical Sergeant in October 1945 after serving in the offices of the Paymaster General.

She married her lifelong “best friend” and then fellow Marine Technical Sergeant William H. Kennedy on June 16, 1945. After discharge from the service they both attended Syracuse University on the GI bill where William graduated from the College of Forestry and Bobbie graduated from the College of Home Economics with a major in Interior Design in 1949.

During 43 years of marriage to William H. Kennedy she resided in New York City, New York; Syracuse, New York; Erie, Pennsylvania; Watertown, New York;Port Edwards, Wisconsin; Montreal West, Quebec, Canada and Massena, New York. They raised two sons, Bill Jr. born in 1950, and John born in 1953. William passed away on Sept. 27, 1988 and for the remainder of her life Bobbie resided in Massena, New York.

As an adult Bobbie developed a talent for painting. When they moved to Montreal in 1963, her favorite art media was oil. She later used pastels before beginning concentration in watercolor in 1973. She studied watercolor with Kathleen Dancause in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. In addition she participated in courses in design and drawing at St. Lawrence College, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. She frequented workshops of one or two week duration under the following artists: Kathleen Dancause, Dr. Charles Dibble, John Gallucci, Richard Gill, Helen Halter, Stanley Maltzman, Vern Mauk, John Murphy and Graham Scholes. Her artwork has hung in juried shows in numerous libraries and galleries in the United States and Canada.

Bobbie authored an entertaining and informative memoir entitled, “The Drifter, Tales, Travels, Trials” dedicated to her grandchildren in 2012, mastering a laptop late in life.

Bobbie prepared and taught classes in “Drawing and Painting with a Pencil” to senior citizens. She also taught classes in oil and watercolor for adult education in Massena, New York. Earlier she had taught classes in Interior Design, Candle-making, Sewing and Hat Making in Erie, Port Edwards, and Watertown.

She was predeceased by her husband, parents, two brothers; Chester and John, and one son, John. Family survivors include her son William H. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife, Nina, of Indianapolis, Indiana and three grandchildren: Maria of Highland Park, New Jersey; Sean and his wife Amanda of Washington, DC; and Joseph, of Indianapolis, Indiana; as well as her sister, Marian (spouse Glen Salo) of Grants Pass, Oregon, and their four children; Ken, Laura, David, and Rebecca and grandchildren.

She will be interred with honors at the Quantico National Veterans Cemetery near Triangle, Virginia alongside her husband. Arrangements entrusted to Flanner Buchanan – Indianapolis, Indiana and Mullins and Thompson – Fredericksburg, Virginia.



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