James Kennedy, the former Mayor of South Coatesville, has passed away aged 99 after a life dedicated to public service, writes Ginger Dunbar Daily Local News.
Kennedy was elected vice president of the Coatesville Area School District in 1954. He moved from there to the South Coatesville Borough Council which he served on for over 25 years before running for mayor. Elected major in 1994 he served for five terms before retiring at the end of 2013.
While mayor, Kennedy was responsible for, among many other things, supervising the South Coatesville police department. He also served some time as the Emergency Management Coordinator.
Former South Coatesville Councilwoman and past vice president, Terry Bruno, worked closely with him and said he had a sharp mind and always respected others.
“He would do the right thing for the community,” she said. “People would say do this or do that. He wanted to do the right thing, not what the majority said.”
Downingtown Mayor, Josh Maxwell, first met Kennedy in 2010.
Kennedy, then 93, introduced himself as the oldest mayor, drawing a sharp contrast between himself and Maxwell, who was the youngest mayor in Downingtown’s history at 26.
“What he taught me and taught thousands of others was more than how to be a good mayor. It was about how to be a good man and how to carry yourself,” noted Maxwell. “He never stopped helping people. That’s what made him special and unique, with his ability to mentor and serve the community.”
Kennedy’s funeral is on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Coatesville.