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On Sunday, July 25, 2021, a day filled with sunshine and blue skies, Clifford Arthur Kennedy, 96, of Midland, Michigan passed away peacefully. He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend. Clifford, the son of the late Arthur H. and Mabel (Fick) Kennedy, was born on April 26, 1925.

Clifford was a World War II Veteran having joined the U.S. Army in 1943 at the age of 18. He traveled from Norfolk, Virginia to Northern Africa and then on to Naples, Italy and then finally to the frontlines. On October 10, 1944, he was captured by the Germans in Bologna, Italy. He was a prisoner of war for seven months and then was liberated by the 80th Division on May 1st, 1945. He said, “It was the happiest day of my life.”

When he returned from the war, Clifford resumed his hobby of designing, building and flying model airplanes. He was a member of the Gladwin Area R/C Club and shared his love of flying with his brother Kenneth Kennedy and his son-in-law Lon Hawkins. He also began work at Dow Chemical company, where he continued employment for 35 years before retirement.

He is survived by his wife, Florence (Burgess) Kennedy and her children, Burgess Dell-Wilson and Randy Burgess, as well as his children: Linda (Joe) Johnston; Mary Kennedy; Marlene (Scott) Liechty, his stepchildren: Larry (Karen) Sherwood; Kathy (Lon) Hawkins; and Ronald Sherwood, his grandchildren: Jennifer, John, Jeffrey, Matthew, Nicholas, Daele, Ian, Clifton, Madeline, and his step-grandchildren: Larry Paul, Roseann, John, Mae, Michille, David, Michelle, Heidi, Jason, Steven, Kristen, Lauren and Megan, as well as several great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by 5 siblings: Larry (Myrtle) Kennedy, Clarence (Ruth) Kennedy, Betty Summers, Annabelle King, and Deanna McRoberts.

Clifford was preceded in death by his wife of 27 years, Georgene M. (Austin) Kennedy, his wife of 24 years, Helen (Sherwood) Kennedy, his son Dennis Kennedy, stepsons Merle and Larry Burgess and his siblings Kenneth, Nelson, Ray, Darlene and Virginia.

A funeral service will be held at Floyd Church of God, where Clifford worshipped for over 40 years, on Friday, July 30, 2021 at 11a.m. with Pastor Steve Gulick officiating. Visitation will be held at Smith-Miner Funeral Home from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 2021 or from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. before the funeral service. Interment will be in Floral Gardens Cemetery in Bay City.

Whenever there is a warm summer day with clear blue skies, Clifford’s friends and family will always think of him eagerly sending up that new custom made airplane to “see how she flies.” In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Gladwin Area R/C Club in memory of Clifford Kennedy.

Our heartfelt thanks to Stratford Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation and Heartland Hospice staff for their excellent care.

Smith-Miner Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Kennedy family, to share a special memory please visit www.smithminer.com.

Condolence Messages

  1. Randall Burgess

    30 July 2021 2 months ago

    Cliff was a great man who served his country and loved his family and was considered a hero to my brother Larry and I. He will be missed very much and it has been an honor to know such a great man.

  2. JAMES AND BRENDA HERMAN

    27 July 2021 2 months ago

    Sorry to hear of the passing of Cliff/ He was a special friend whom we always seen at Lanny’s in Sanford. Flo we are with you in spirit and hope that he will not be forgotten/

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