Marcia Ann Kennedy died peacefully of natural causes on March 24, 2023. A devoted wife, caring mother, and beloved grandmother, she learned from an early age to embrace challenges and meet them head on. Marcia was a firm believer that once you made a commitment, you stuck with it and saw it through. Her unvarnished opinions and sense of humor helped her make friends everywhere she went. Born on March 7, 1936, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Marcia was the only child of Ralph and Lillian Gillman until her brother Don arrived in 1945. Several years later, she faced a severe test when a back injury forced her into a full-torso cast for nearly 9 months. The experience had a lasting impact on her. Upon graduating from Johnstown High School in 1954, Marcia enrolled in Conemaugh Valley School of Nursing and became a Registered Nurse. Her first job was on-site at Bethlehem Steel. Life changed for good the day she met her future husband, Roger William Kennedy. They married on June 24, 1961, and Marcia accompanied Roger in his home state of New Jersey. Her transition to the Garden State was seamless, though she never stopped cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Eventually the couple settled in Ridgewood where Marcia gave birth to 3 children, Dave in 1963, Mike in 1965 and Missy in 1968. She was intimately involved in their lives, packing lunches, helping with homework, and driving to and from practices. Marcia made it clear that friends were always welcome at the Kennedy house, which was usually bustling with activity, especially at the holidays. Her Christmas cookies were legendary. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to continue her nursing career, while also exploring new and fun activities, including tennis and tap dancing. She loved to play games, most notably Yahtzee, and was an excellent bridge partner. Marcia rarely started a crossword puzzle that she didn’t finish. After 40 years in New Jersey, she and Roger retired to South Carolina to start a new chapter in their lives. She took up golf after her 60th birthday and became a steady player who brought a round full of smiles and a feisty competitive spirit to every foursome she joined. Meanwhile, she and Roger traveled extensively, particularly throughout Europe. When his health failed in his final years, Marcia was quick to put her nursing skills to work. Helping people deal with pain and hardship was one of her specialties. Perhaps her most fulfilling role was as a grandmother. Nothing gave her more joy, and her grandchildren adored her. She was a constant and consistent presence in their lives, and always made them laugh. That was the case with anyone lucky enough to cross paths with her and call her their friend. Marcia is survived by her brother, her 3 children (and their spouses, Barbara Noe Kennedy, Ali Kennedy, and Chris Cardew) and all her grandkids: Kelly Cardew, Allie Cardew, Grace Cardew, Davis Cardew, Lily Kennedy, Andy Perez, Bob (and Mallory) Perez, Cecilia (and Lex) Perez, and Isaiah Kennedy Perez. Marcia was a regular supporter of many groups and organizations, particularly the children of Lord’s Mountain Orphanage in Zambia. Donations in memory of Marcia Kennedy can be made at http://www.lordsmountain.org
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