Kenneth J. “Neighbor” Kennedy

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Kenneth J. “Neighbor” Kennedy, 89, of East Dubuque, Ill., passed away Saturday, July 7, at the Bell Tower Retirement Community.

Ken was born in East Dubuque on July 25, 1928, the son of Dennis and Rosalia (Thole) Kennedy. He was a graduate of East Dubuque High School, class of 1947. He was united in marriage to Jean Peterson on Sept. 20, 1958, at St. Raphael’s Cathedral in Dubuque.

He was employed as a lineman for Interstate Power Company for 42 years, retiring in 1989. Ken was a member of IBEW Local #263, Galena Elks Lodge #882, St. Mary’s Church and its Holy Name Society, East Dubuque Knights of Columbus Council #7527, and a member of the Galena Golf Club for over 35 years.

Ken was an avid fisherman, golfer and gardener, who was known for his “Celebrity Tomatoes.” He and Jean wintered in Apache Junction, Ariz., for over 19 years. Whether he was on the Mississippi River or on road trips to Lake Pepin, he loved to be in the boat.

Surviving are his wife Jean; a son, Scott (Sheri) Kennedy, of Prairie du Chien; his four special grandchildren, Lauren, Allison, Claire and Liam; two sisters, Maurelia Kennedy, of East Dubuque, and Doris (Dr. Clare) Hart, of Lake Geneva; many nieces and nephews; a sister-in-law, Edith Nading, of McGregor, Iowa; and a brother-in-law, Bill (Dorothy) Peterson, of McGregor, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Alice (Ray) Overhouse; and his in-laws, Milly (Chuck) Gaulke, Vonnie (Rob) Klotzbach, and Ron Peterson. 

Jean and family wish to thank Dr. Mark Liaboe and his nurse Trish; the Bell Tower Community staff; the nurses and staff from Hospice of Dubuque, especially Paul and Ryan; friends and neighbors who lent a helping hand, especially, Patrick, Tom, Gary, Joe; and our Kats Meow family, for the wonderful care given to Ken.

In lieu of flowers, a Kenneth “Neighbor” Kennedy memorial fund has been established.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 11, and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 12, at the Miller Funeral Home in East Dubuque, where the parish rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday. Mass of Christian burial will be 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 12, at St. Mary’s Church in East Dubuque, with Fr. James Weighner and Fr. Dean Smith concelebrating. Burial will be in the East Dubuque Cemetery, where military honors will be accorded by members of East Dubuque American Legion Post # 787. Online condolences may be left for the family at

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