Davenport-Patricia Ann Kennedy, 91, former English professor at St. Ambrose University, died peacefully at her home in Ridgecrest Village in Davenport, Iowa, on Friday, Sep. 21, 2018.
Professor Emeritus Kennedy, “Pat” to her friends and family, was born in Kansas City, MO, Feb. 1, 1927, and grew up in Macomb, IL, with her parents, Peter and Mahala Kennedy, and her sister, Loretta (Rusty). She attended St. Mary’s Academy in Nauvoo, IL, and taught there for several years after entering the Benedictine Sisters convent, where she was based from 1947-1971. The sisters at the convent respected Pat while she was there as well as after she left. Pat also had the utmost respect for them.
Pat was awarded an MA in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and an MA in Education at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Illinois, with her thesis on Pioneer Women in the Midwestern Novel.
Pat began her teaching career at St. Ambrose in 1968, the first year the college became co-ed, and she witnessed many other changes during her tenure, including the further diversification of the student body, which she welcomed. Colleagues respected and loved her, as did her students. She received numerous speaking invitations and recognitions, including being named to the Baecke Chair of Humanities during the 1985-86 academic year, delivering a St. Ambrose centennial celebration lecture, and giving the winter commencement address in 1990. She was also presented an Honorary Alumna award and a Distinguished Service award. She remarked that being among smart young people every day was a wonderful benefit of her teaching career.
Pat was an avid golfer and played regularly with friends. After her retirement from St. Ambrose in 1994 she especially looked forward to winter vacations in Tucson where she enjoyed the desert golf courses. She loved reading, bridge, and trips to Notre Dame football games. She brought her laughter and sparkle to parties and fun social outings with her close circle of friends, many of whom, sadly, preceded her in death. She also enjoyed trips to visit her sister and her family in California, who always looked forward to spending time with Aunt Pat.
Pat was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Davenport. Outside of her teaching career and membership in professional organizations, she was interested in the causes of peace and justice.
Pat’s parents and sister preceded her in death. She is survived by her niece, Patricia (Mullany) Sutton and nephews John and Steve Mullany.
Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 4:00 pm, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, at Christ the King Chapel, 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA. The chapel is located on the St. Ambrose University campus. A reception will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Patricia Kennedy’s name may be made to Catholic Relief Services or St. Ambrose University. Halligan McCabe DeVries Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.