Dr. and Mrs. H. E. Kennedy

By on July 31, 2020

Harvey Edward (Ed) Kennedy and Dorothy Childress (Dot) Kennedy of Durham and recently of Chapel Hill died within days of each other, Dot on Sunday July 12 and Ed on Friday July 17. She was 90 and he was 91. They were married in Raleigh in 1951 and were inseparable ever since. Theirs was truly a marriage of love and together they provided their children with a wonderful experience of growing up. The family remained close throughout their lives.  Ed and Dot traveled extensively, both nationally and internationally, and after retirement split their time between Durham and Southern Shores on the NC Outer Banks.  Ed and Dot were long time members of the University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill.

Ed was born in Wayne County, NC to Robert Hanness and Zilphia Taylor Kennedy. He earned degrees from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton) and North Carolina State University, and did post-doctoral study at Ohio State University, Rutgers and Duke.

His early professional career was in microbiological research.  After holding academic posts at UNC Chapel Hill and Ohio State, he worked in industrial research for Johnson & Johnson in Milltown, NJ before joining Biological Abstracts/BIOSIS (Biological Sciences Information Service) in Philadelphia in 1967. He retired as President of BIOSIS in 1993 having served the scientific indexing company through the era’s technological transition from printed materials to digital media transmission.

Dr. Kennedy was recognized world-wide for his contributions in the field of scientific information transfer. He held numerous elected positions during his career, including that of President of several national and international scientific and publishing organizations, and served on the committee on Science and the Arts of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. He was a charter board member of the Society for Scholarly Publishing and is listed in Men of Achievement, American Men and Women of Science, and Who’s Who in America.

Ed was in the Kiwanis Club of Durham, served on the board of Senior PharmAssist, was a consultant with the Executive Service Corps of the Greater Triangle, and was an active member of the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Dorothy Mae Childress Kennedy was born in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, the daughter of the Reverend Raleigh N. and Grayce Reynolds Childress. They moved to Raleigh where Dot grew up and lived as a teenager with her aunt, Mae Reynolds after the death of her mother.  She graduated from Hugh Morson High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in primary education at Meredith College.  She taught third grade in the Fred Olds and Sherwood Bates Schools in Raleigh in the 1950s. Once the family arrived Mrs. Kennedy became a home maker yet still made time to be a substitute teacher in New Jersey in the 1960s. In the ‘70s and ‘80s as a volunteer she brought joy to Special Ed students through music education in the Old Forge School in Lima, PA.

She loved to entertain providing elegant dinners she made herself, both for numerous international guests through her husband’s work as well as a wide circle of friends. She was for many years a docent at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia.  Her contributions as a community volunteer were many and varied as a result of her artistic and creative talents. In Durham she was a member of the Four Seasons Garden Club, the Reviewers of Durham, and the Duke Institute for Learning in Retirement.

Dot and Ed are survived by a daughter, Connie Kennedy Shuping and husband, Robert of Chapel Hill, a son, Jeffrey Kennedy and wife, Becky of Boone, NC and grandsons Evan Shuping, Spencer Kennedy and Andrew Kennedy. Ed is survived by brothers Donald and Carroll, and a number of nephews and nieces. He was predeceased in death by brothers Russell, Lewis Ray and Ralph. Dot is survived by a nephew Reynolds (Rennie) Johnson Childress of Kingston, NY. She was predeceased by her brother Bill Childress.

Arrangements made by the Cremation Society of the Carolinas. Their ashes will be interred in the Memorial Rose Garden at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. Charitable contributions in their honor may be made to American Heart Association, Amedisys Hospice of Durham, or the University United Methodist Church.




Join the discussion