INDIANOLA -- Ellen Margaret Kennedy, formerly of Indianola, Neb., died Saturday, Aug. 16, 2008, at Cambridge Manor. She was 97 years old.
On Oct. 25, 1910, Ellen was born in Kanona, Kan., to Joseph and Margaret (Janousek) Fiala. At the age of two, her mother died in childbirth and she was then raised by her paternal aunt, Anne Locy. She graduated from Hugo, Colo., High School in 1929. She then attended the Conservatory of Music in Fort Collins, Colo., for one year.
She returned to Kansas where she married Fred Raymond Kennedy in Norton, Kan., on Jan. 6, 1934, and to this union five children were born.
In 1938, they moved to the family farm south of Bartley with an Indianola address. At the age of 56 she obtained her LPN Nursing degree at Fort Collins and came back to Nebraska to help open the Long-Term Care Wing at Cambridge, Neb.
Ellen was an avid gardener. Her passion was enjoying all her children and grandchildren's extracurricular activities. She was active in the Domestic Abuse program providing a safe house for women and their children and she was also involved in various women organizations.
She especially enjoyed traveling, including her trips to Europe and the Holy Lands.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, Fred in 1971; two brothers, Edward and Carl Fiala; and one grandson, Douglas Kennedy.
Survivors include her five children, Patrick Kennedy and wife, Joyce of Farmington Hills, Mich., Jon Kennedy and wife, Gloria of Arlington, Texas, Kathryn Shirley and husband, Lyle of Long Beach, Calif., Sally Sitzman and husband, Larry of Lincoln and Fred Kennedy and wife, Holly of Indianola; 11 grandsons, Mike, Troy and Tom Kennedy; Sean and Pat Shirley; Eddie, Eric and Jason Sitzman; Rudy, Russell and Tyler Kennedy; four granddaughters, Debbie McKee, Michelle Dillon, Shannon Gifford and Desiree Shirley; two step grandchildren, Brian and Adam Brennan; 21 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.
Memorials may be directed to Valley Hope of Norton, Kan., or the Decatur County Last Indian Raid Museum/Bohemian Hall at Oberlin, Kan.
Visitation is today until 5 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. until time of the Rosary at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home in McCook. Friends and family may also go on-line at www.carpenterbreland.com to leave condolences.
Rosary will be Wednesday at the funeral home in McCook at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday at 10 a.m. at St Catherine's Catholic Church in Indianola with Father Thomas McGuire and Father Robert Barnhill officiating. Burial will be in Cedar Bluffs Cemetery, Cedar Bluffs, Kan.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.