Howard Charles Kennedy

R.L. Leintz Funeral Home

Howard Charles Kennedy

Howard Charles Kennedy passed from this earth on July 23, 2021 at the age of 90 years. Howard was born on April 11, 1931, as the youngest of five children to Charles and Claudia (Swoboda) Kennedy in the farming community of Kickapoo northwest of Leavenworth, Kansas.

Howard grew up working on the family farm that was part of the original Kennedy family homestead. His ancestors were among those many Europeans who emigrated to settle the new Kansas territory. During his youth he attended and served the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Kickapoo. He attended Immaculata High School and graduated in 1949. Howard subsequently attended the Donnelly Catholic College in Kansas City where he was a member of the inaugural graduating class of 1951.

It was during his high school years at Immaculata that Howard met and then fell in love with Mary Ann Heintzelman. Howard and Mary Ann were married at St. Joseph of the Valley Church on June 28, 1952. They then settled in the city of Leavenworth and joined St. Joseph Catholic church for the remainder of their lives. Howard and Mary Ann had five children who they raised in homes built by Howard's hands, and all of whom they sent to St. Joseph's elementary school and Immaculata High School. Howard and Mary Ann celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary shortly before Mary Ann's death in July of 2020.

Howard provided for his family through various positions in the Fort Leavenworth army base maintenance and engineering departments for thirty-six years. He retired in 1987. In retirement, Howard worked part-time as an income tax consultant for a local tax preparation company. He was also a member of the Army Reserves for 9 years in the 1950s and early 1960s, where he trained out of the Fort Carson army base in Colorado.

Throughout his life, Howard enjoyed hunting and fishing with family and friends. Reminiscing about fishing with his grandchildren always brought a smile to his face. Howard was an accomplished athlete in his youth and enjoyed proudly watching his son and grandsons play numerous sports over the years. He took pride in his daughters and granddaughters and enjoyed attending their dance, acrobatics, music and drama events. Family relationships were a priority to Howard and family visits were frequent and numerous. In his retirement years, the summer family reunions at the Lake of the Ozarks were a highlight. Howard enjoyed water-skiing into his seventies and jet-skiing into his eighties. Card games were a frequent activity at family visits and reunions, and Howard looked forward to his weekly card-playing activities at the downtown Community Center with his retiree friends.

Howard was a devout and lifelong servant of the Catholic Church. He began as a young altar server at Sacred Heart parish in Kickapoo, and continued to serve at the altar at St. Joseph in Leavenworth into his eighties. At various times in his younger adult life, Howard was a member of the St. Joseph Parish Council, Finance Council, and the St. Joseph's (men's) Society. For over forty years Howard was an extraordinary minister of holy communion at St Joseph parish, and regularly took communion to the elderly church members at local nursing homes. During the last 25 years of his active membership at St. Joseph church, Howard was a leader in the Society of St. Vincent DePaul which provided outreach and support to the poor in the Leavenworth community.

Howard was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann, his parents Charles and Claudia, and his siblings Matt Kennedy, Loretta Smith, Claudia Swenson, and Leo Kennedy. He is survived by his five children, Peggy Tunink (Duane), Janet Loewenstein (Jim), Steven Kennedy (Beth), Karen Wishart (John), and Lorraine Lewis. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Howard was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, and a dedicated member of the Catholic church. He was much loved and respected, and will be greatly missed by family, friends, and church members.

The family would like to thank Twin Oaks Long-Term Care and Catholic Community Hospice for the amazing care and treatment they provided for Howard.

A visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. with the rosary prayed at 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at St. Joseph Church in Leavenworth. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Howard's honor to Catholic Community Hospice (, St. Vincent DePaul Society, and St. Joseph Church ( Please visit to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Howard.

Posted online on July 26, 2021