Cohoes, NY – Joanne Antonia Kennedy, 87, passed away peacefully on January 7, 2020.
Joanne lived a life of courage, conviction and compassion. Born Johanna in Munich, Germany, on January 20, 1932, she was the daughter of the late Engelbert Kirchner and Panna (Besnyö) Kirchner. Along with her older brother, Engelbert (“Bobby”), she and her family persevered through war and the Nazi occupation of their homeland.
Following the death of her father, she immigrated to the U.S. in 1951, joining her brother and her extended family, and her mother followed shortly after. She legally changed her name to Joanne when she became an American citizen in 1958. She married Richard Kennedy later that year in Cambridge, MA. They were divorced in 1973, and Joanne eventually settled with her children in Arlington, MA. With the help and support of her mother, she dedicated herself to raising her children. She worked as a bookkeeper, retiring from the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston.
In 2008, she moved to the Capital Region to be closer to her daughter and spent the last six years of her life in the loving care of the amazing staff and elders in House 19 at The Eddy Village Green in Cohoes. She enjoyed frequent visits from her grand-dogs and was beloved by all who knew her. Never taking for granted the opportunities her adopted country gave to her, Joanne proudly supported innumerable charitable causes throughout her life, and cherished the companionship of her cats.
Joanne is survived by her children Monica (David) Kounter, of Albany, NY; Chris Kennedy, of Watertown, MA; and Jessica (Anthony) Scheckton, of Niskayuna, NY. She is also survived by her grandson, Ryan Kounter; her ex-husband, Richard; and her cousins Tom and Peter Kovach and Iara Brusse.
In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her brother Bobby; her sister-in-law, Merian Lovelace Kirchner; and her aunts Madeline Kovach and Eva Besnyö.
Calling hours for friends and family will be held on Monday, January 13, 2020, from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 181 Troy Schenectady Road, Watervliet, NY 12189. A burial and memorial service at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA, will follow later this year. In lieu of flowers, donations in Joanne’s memory can be made to the Parkinson’s Foundation or the American Civil Liberties Union. To leave a special message for the family online please visit NewComerAlbany.com