Francis (Frank) Kennedy

Francis (Frank) Kennedy passed away on Saturday, March 4, 2006 at the age of 76.

Born in Shullsburg in 1929 during the heart of the Great Depression, Frank was one of six children. After graduating from UW-Platteville he became an English teacher and coach in Apple River, Ill. In addition, he attended the University of Missouri where he worked toward his doctorate. He married his high school sweetheart and lifelong love, Dorothy.

In 1957 he accepted a position at Cedarburg High School, where he would remain for his entire career. He became a guidance counselor and assistant superintendent with the district before being named superintendent of schools in 1969. Frank was devoted to the field of education and was committed to helping every student achieve their dreams. Even as superintendent, his first loyalty was to the kids in the classroom and their needs. No matter what issue came before him, his colleagues will attest that his comment would always be, "Will this help the kids?"

He was an integral part of the construction of Parkview and Thorson elementary schools as well as the building of Webster Transitional School. He enjoyed the interactions he had with students who often came back decades later to thank him for helping them through the trials of adolescence. Frank was proud of his Irish heritage and one St. Patrick’s Day he and Claire O’Brien, a counselor at CHS, took to the microphone during announcements to sing their spirited rendition of the Irish classic, Danny Boy. Frank spent 35 years in the Cedarburg School District, 23 as the superintendent, before his retirement in 1992.

Frank was never one to sit still so his retirement was as fulfilling as his career had been. Years prior he had become an avid runner and he became quite a competitor, running 40 miles per week. He loved to compete and frequently entered races. He always participated in the Al McGuire run which benefited Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. In several races he finished first in his age group, which gave him great satisfaction. Also during his retirement, he was successful at his bid to be elected to the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors. He served the community of Cedarburg for a number of years in this capacity.

Frank and Dorothy traveled to Australia to visit an AFS student (Anne Last) they had hosted for a year while she was a student at Cedarburg High. They also took a trip to Ireland. But a favorite vacation was the extended time they would spend in Gulf Shores, Ala., where they would enjoy endless rounds of golf and the company of their great Cedarburg friends.

Frank was an outstanding father to Mark, Kevin and Denise (Moakley), providing loving support and constant encouragement. He spoiled his grandchildren Meghann, Andrew, Christina, Connor, Kevin, Sean, Daniel, Ryan, and Kelly. "Papa" always had time to take you to the park across the street, played until YOU were too tired, read countless stories and, you could bank on having at least three choices of ice cream flavors to pick from at bedtime, since ice-cream was his favorite.

Alzheimer’s disease slowly took Frank but all the memories of him laughing and loving life are those we choose. These are the things that make him an unforgettable husband, father, grandfather and friend. Visitation will be Wednesday at St. Francis Borgia North Church from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a Mass immediately following. Memorials can be made to the Cedarburg Community Scholarship Fund.