KEENE, N.H. – The Rev. Dana Forrest Kennedy died Oct. 16, 2013, in Keene, N.H., at the age of 95. He was born Nov. 1, 1917, in Milbridge, the son of Chester and Geneva (Beal) Kennedy, and was brought up in Bangor.
He graduated from Bangor High School in the class of 1935, and went to the Bangor Maine School of Commerce for three years, graduating with a signed diploma and a BMSC medal in 1938. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Commercial Education Degree from the University of Maine and taught the Commercial Course at Gilman High School in Northeast Harbor, Maine for three years.
In 1945 he graduated from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Mass., with a Master of Divinity degree. He worked as Curate at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, a large parish in Lynn, Mass., where among other things he headed the Vacation Bible School of the city’s Protestant churches. Two years later he became Rector of St. Barnabas’ Church in Springfield, Mass., and also Promotion Director for the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. In 1950 he went to St. James Church in Woonsocket, R.I., as Rector. While in Rhode Island he was on the Diocesan Council, President of the Clerics, member of the Examining Chaplains, host of a weekly TV program and two weekly radio programs. From there he was called by the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church As Executive Secretary of this Division he worked closely with the Broadcasting and Film Commission of the National Council of Churches and acted as moderator on NBC-TV Frontiers of Faith panel program during the summer and fall of 1956, was preacher on two CBS church of the Air programs, moderated three NCB Faith in Action programs. He traveled throughout the United States helping Dioceses develop radio and TV programming, wrote for the National churches magazine FORTH as well as establishing and developing the staff and work of the Division of Radio and TV. For 13 years he was a moderator of a nationally syndicated radio interview program, Viewpoint. This program was broadcast on WOR Radio network, Radio Free Europe and the Armed Forces Overseas Network, as well as being syndicated weekly on 400 radio stations nationwide from 1957 through 1971. He interviewed celebrities and authors, such as George Meany, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Robert Young, Jessica Tandy, John Eisenhower, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, Jackie Robinson and over 600 guests from the USA, Hawaii, Canada, and Europe. In 1961 he was called to be rector of Christ and Holy Trinity Church in Westport, Conn. During his 29 years of leadership, the Parish acquired and added to an existing property a neighboring church building and three houses all adjacent to the historic Trinity Memorial Church itself, thus establishing three acres in the heart of the downtown Westport for the exercise of its ministry. He also raised two million dollars in endowments before he retired in 1989. He established and became Headmaster of the Christ and Holy Trinity Day school for pre-school children and he developed a gull-time staff of Curate, two secretaries, bookkeeper, sexton, choirmaster and organist.
He was a Member of the Diocesan Council of the Diocese of Connecticut and was on the Communication Committee and for six years Dean of the Mid-Facilities Deanery.
In 1961, his interest in the region led him to become a member of The Norwalk Town Union of King’s Daughters and Sons, a regional home for the aged. In 1972 the Norwalk Town Union created a new corporation, King’s Daughters and Sons Housing Inc. The corporation built a new two and half million dollar elderly housing apartment house with 128 units for low income persons over 62 years of age.
He was a 50 year Mason and a longtime member of Rotary, and has a lifetime membership in the Society of the Mayflower descendants and the Sons of the American Revolution.
He was, at the request of President Chesley Husson, a member of the board of Trustees of Husson College and was present and took part in the dedication of the new land for the college. He was also a Trustee of Shimer College in Illinois.
He is the author of a small book of poems, ‘Waterbrooks Of The Spirit,’ miscellaneous magazine articles, and in 1991, after he retired, he wrote a Bible to read to small children, entitled ‘My Very First Golden Bible.’ The Western Publishing Co. of Racine, Wis., published it as one of the Golden Books. It has been reprinted several times and has sold over 250,000 copies thus far.
He was married for 54 years to Muriel Hallett Kennedy, now deceased. He has one son, Michael, married to Diane Clauson Kennedy of Trumball, Conn.; and three grandchildren, James Clauson Kennedy and wife, Christin, of Tupelo, Miss., Ryan Hallett Kennedy and wife, Danielle, of Bridgeport, Conn., and Michael Adams Kennedy and wife, Tricia, also of Bridgeport, Conn. He has two great-grandchildren, Elizabeth and Emma.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Friends of the Milbridge Library, P.O. Box 128, Milbridge, ME 04658, Attention: Ms. Melissa Rapa. Visiting hours will be held 5-7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21, at the chapel of Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Homes, Milbridge. A funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Milbridge Congregational Church. Arrangements by Bragdon-Kelley Funeral Homes Inc., Milbridge.