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Bennie Dale Kennedy of Frankton passed away at the age of 77 in the late afternoon of Wednesday, June 27, surrounded by the love of his wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, family members and dear friends as he lost his fight to brain cancer.
Tenderly known to his family as Ben, his loving wife, son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren are heart broken by this loss of the family’s selfless patriarch. Ben was a man with an outsized sense of generosity and responsibility always focused on the well-being of others, never failing to ask if there was anything he could do for those around him. His thoughtfulness extended well beyond his family. His peers knew him to be a fiercely loyal friend and he treated all with the same level of respect, whether they were a CEO or a laborer working for his company. Quite simply, Ben had a caretaker’s heart and was the rock foundation of his family.
Ben was born on October 10, 1940 in Halcomb, Missouri to parents Homer and Olive (Ham) Kennedy. Following his graduation from Frankton High School in 1960, he worked at Emge Meat Packing Company and then Delco Remy. Ben found an early interest in the tool making trade. He received a toolmakers apprenticeship from Yorktown Tool and Die. During his 22 years of service to Yorktown Tool, Ben managed the business, as well as, training and developing the careers of many toolmakers. In 1982, Ben and his wife Joyce along with their son Brian started a small machine shop (Kennedy Machine and Tool) in Frankton, Indiana. After 8 years in Frankton, a new facility was built outside of Alexandria, Indiana where the business continued to grow for 30 years. Kennedy Machine and Tool manufactured automotive components, dental chairs and Ben’s last venture, crossbows (Native Crossbows). Ben was proud to hold patents on his crossbows, but even prouder that he was able to pass on this trade to future generations.
Ben had a passion for adventure and outdoor activity with fishing and hunting being his favorites. He served on the Frankton Parks Board, and Frankton-Lapel School Board. He was a member of the Frankton Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite. In 2017, Ben received his 50 year award of gold from the Frankton Masonic Lodge.
Ben grew up with a great respect for his family and was a hard worker which he carried with him for life and instilled in his own son and granddaughters.
He is survived by the love of his life and high school sweetheart of 55 years, Joyce (Legg) Kennedy of Frankton, Indiana and son Brian and daughter-In-law Beth Kennedy of Anderson, Indiana. Ben was a proud grandfather to Kristina (Kennedy) Barham; husband Omar Barham and Victoria (Kennedy) Heberling; husband Cole Heberling all from Fishers, Indiana. He was thrilled to become a great grandfather to Aya Barham.
Ben is also survived by a brother Harold (wife Sandy) Kennedy of Anderson, Indiana, Sisters; Lawanna (husband Jim) Beamer of Frankton, Indiana, Bertha (husband Jim) Daffron of Cullman, Alabama, Ernestine Mays of Elwood, Indiana, Sue Sonafrank of Hustonville, Kentucky and Bonnie (husband Dan) Bennett of Anderson, Indiana. He also leaves several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank: Dr. Abbot, Dr. Reddy, Dr. Zook, Bethany Pointe, Community Hospital and all of the caregivers who helped Ben fight this disease. A special thanks to Pastor Rodger Brooks and the church communities for their countless prayers and support. God bless all involved!
A celebration of life will be held for Ben at Dunnichay Funeral Home at 1113 S. Anderson Street, Elwood, Indiana 46036 o n Sunday, July 8th. Visitation will be from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., followed by a celebration of life service at 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Frankton Masonic Lodge and Eagle Packs Ministry.
Online condolences can be given at www.dunnichayfuneralhome.com.