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Ruth Ann Kennedy

August 30, 1925 December 10, 2020
Ruth Ann Kennedy
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Obituary for Ruth Ann Kennedy

Ruth Ann Kennedy, age 95, of Pekin passed away on December 10, 2020, at her East Peoria senior care facility. She was born August 30, 1925, in Birmingham, Iowa, to Orville and Vera Houdesheldt, who preceded her in death. She was the loving wife of Robert B. Kennedy, previously deceased, and the sister of Richard Houdesheldt, also previously deceased.

Surviving are her cherished children and grandchildren: Susan (Tom) Laue of Evanston and sons Christopher (Caroline) Laue of Delaware, OH, and Andrew “Drew” Laue of Evanston; Steve (Diane) Kennedy of Pekin and daughter Kathleen “Kate” Kennedy and her spouse David Weinstein of Chicago; Laura (Barry) Juras of Hawthorn Woods and son Patrick Juras of Durham, NC, and daughter Josselin Juras of Hawthorn Woods; and Karen Kagan of Naperville and her sons with Steven Kagan, Adam Kagan of Aurora and Jack (Sara) Kagan of Chicago. Ruth had one beloved great-granddaughter, Clara Rose Laue, daughter of grandson Christopher (Caroline) Laue. Ruth and Robert also had a baby, Ann Elizabeth, who died shortly after birth. Ruth was deeply loved, and will be missed by her family and many friends, including neighbor Linda Maas.

Ruth graduated from Keosauqua High School, attended Pomona College, CA, and in 1948 graduated Magna Cum Laude as a Registered Nurse from St. Francis School of Nursing, Peoria. She worked for a time at Unity Point Pekin Hospital, and was head nurse in neurology at OSF St. Francis Medical Center. Ruth cared deeply for her patients who had suffered full and partial paralysis.

She was an affectionate, generous and kind person who deeply loved the outdoors and nature. She also enjoyed hobbies in art, collecting antiques and “armchair” travel. Ruth may have been best known, however, for her pies, especially apple and pumpkin, loved by her family. She provided a loving, warm home for her family, fun games and stories for her grandchildren, and supported her church, St. Joseph Catholic Church of Pekin. Her deep spiritual life sustained her through life’s journey.

On Friday, Dec. 18, a funeral Mass open to the public will be celebrated by Father Mike Andrejek at 1 p.m. CST at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 303 S. 7th St., Pekin. The Mass also will be recorded and accessible online at stjosephpekin.org. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Pekin, with only immediate family attending.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, nationalbreastcancer.org

The family has entrusted Abts Mortuary in Pekin with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at abtsmortuary.com

To plant a tree in memory of Ruth Ann Kennedy, visit the Tribute Store.

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