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Memories of John Daniel Kennedy

Found below are fond memories from John's family

Linda Kennedy

I met your father in nursing school, and he went by Danny Kennedy. Sometimes I would sneak out of nursing school to be with him. Some of the students would pass me a blanket out the window to snuggle. His sister used to call him Danny boy. I fell in love with Danny. I remember dancing with him to the song Earth Angel by The Penguins. We danced and we danced and we danced under a blanket of stars because he was the moon, the Earth, and the sun.

Another memory of mine was when he taught me how to drive stick shift on his orange Nash Rambler. I was very nervous and he made it all right by leaning over and kissing me. I was always concerned about burning up his clutch, but it never happened. He was a wonderful teacher and had LOTS of patience. 


I remember walking in the rain with him, and he took my face under the street light and kissed me ever so gently. It was really nice. And out of nowhere. 


We went to New York City to meet my mother for dinner and she ordered grasshoppers for us to drink. Although dinner was nice, she preferred I marry a doctor. Danny and I got lost in NYC and we wound up in Harlem and a police officer came by and told us "you don't belong here" and gave us money for the subway. 


Danny would take me up to Suffern to see his parents. His father was very fun to be with and I always felt very loved by his father. Your grandmother may have wanted better for your father as my parents wanted for me. 


I was deeply in love with your father. I would write on my papers Mrs. Danny Kennedy even though we weren't married yet. I became pregnant and I remember when we visited his parents house and his mother knew our secret. I originally tried to get married at St. Vincent's by Father Skeehan but he refused, so we got married by a justice of the peace in Florida. It was September. Dawn was born the following February. 


I left nursing school while your dad stayed. However, he didn't finish RN school. He became a LPN instead. We then moved in with his parents. Your dad worked at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, NY as a LPN. 9 months later I become pregnant with Jean. After Jean was born, we got married in a church. 


Your dad was an exceptional nurse, and all his patients loved him. He was an attribute to the Good Samaritan Hospital. He had a great deal of compassion. 


I was terribly lonely when your father went to Florida and started working at Orkin Exterminators. He left me in NY with the 3 girls while he worked to find us a home. Once I moved down to Florida, he became a police officer and was sworn in, in February. He then became John D. He absolutely loved the force. He would work the night shift, and I remember crying for 3 weeks. All my friends were in NY and my husband would sleep a lot during the day. I missed him terribly. 


When he worked the evening shift, I would always have dinner ready and then he would help with baths. He would always come home and take his gun off and put it in the closet in the master bedroom. He was always very careful not to let our children see it. 


He was very, very proud to be a police officer. When he would come home, I would ask him about his day and the police force, but he was very closed mouthed. I thought it was for my protection. 


He grew a mustache and was very proud of that mustache. I have a picture of him sitting on the couch in his uniform, and he looked accomplished. 


He would take me to the policeman's ball, and we would dance, drink, and have lots of fun. I loved slow dancing with him. I would get nervous, but he would tell me: "it's all going to be all okay." 


I loved it when your father would call me "Linda my baby." 


Your father played tennis in high school and was very good at the sport. I remember hiking with him at Bear Mountain in NY, and I was terrified to come down. I'd still be on the mountain if it hadn't been for him. He guided me, and it took a long time because I was fearful.


He tried teaching me how to use a rifle, but I wasn't really into that. 


We would go to the stock car races with Dick Conklin. We both loved going. 


He was so full of adventure and could fix anything. My favorite physical feature about John were his legs. He had really nice legs, especially when he would tan. I remember camping with everyone and he would bring back lobster. He would put an air conditioner in our tent. He was the fun dad, always playing and watching cartoons. I was the disciplinary one.  

John's Favorite Memory

It was 1974, I was 7 years old.

      An epic battle broke out between my dad and a gigantic black snake. The following is my interpretation of the exchange (again I was 7 years old). From the South West corner of the property I heard a tremendous ruckus. As I peered over at the hedges, they began to separate straight down the middle and two glistening fangs appeared. The snake slithered out from his fortress, for he was hungry, and I was on the menu. Nothing stood between this vicious creature and me, until my father sprung into action with no regard for himself. He lunged at the snake with a rake but the snake quickly countered, wrapping itself around the rake handle and crushing it into saw dust. With nothing within reach, my father soon realized that he had to fight this creature with his bare hands. After what felt like an eternity of blows, bites, and rolling around in the yard, the creature soon realized it was outmatched and fled. Thanks to my dad we were all safe again…


      Looking back now as an adult, I’ve realized what really happened. There was a black snake that came into the patio, and dad, with a rake, tried to direct it off the patio, and in doing so, the rake broke. So he had to pick it up and put it back into the yard. I prefer my 7 year old version.


      Regardless of whatever tale you prefer, there is a lesson to be learned. My father did whatever it took to protect and serve others. These memories stand testament to the kind of individual he was. My father represents the thin blue line that unites each and every officer. He will forever be the bravest, coolest, snake slaying dad anyone has ever met.

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