Terry Kennedy
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Obituaries are traditionally formed of the facts: the full name of the deceased, Dr. Joseph Terry Kennedy; who the deceased was preceded by in death, his parents, J.T. and Marie Kennedy, who were of Cartersville, Ga.; the pertinent dates and locales, born Dec. 8, 1945, in Cartersville, Ga., and died Thursday, May 13, 2010, in Baton Rouge; those by whom he is survived, wife, Elizabeth Pratt, and daughters, Eva and Caitlin "Cassie," sister, Irish Murphy, brother, Fred Kennedy, sister and brother-in-law, Fran and Sammy Butler, sister and brother-in-law, Rebecca and Al Johnson, and cousin, Charles Grier; the capacities in which that person served, a few: father, partner, teacher, artist, veteran, boat-builder, coffee shop ringleader and friend; and maybe some professional honors, Purple Heart Medal for service in Vietnam, longtime associate professor of mass communications at Southern University, Baton Rouge. Those facts are important, but if Joseph Terry Kennedy has helped innumerable people realize anything over the years, it is that there is a greater truth than the facts, that the things we know and the things we do are but the first step toward something larger than ourselves. And this was a guy with great facts! Mere hours after Terry's succumbing to the ravages of cancer, we gathered under the patio of his house just like a hundred other nights with him, recounting his remarkable participation in the anecdotal. "Remember the time he taught my son to smoke a cigar?" "Remember the time he took the dean for a ride on the back of his motorcycle and turned the mirror to see the terror on his face?" Terry had read every book, listened to every piece of music, knew every piece of art and had a way of rerouting a question or story into uncharted waters, where the real interesting questions and stories lie. He was the best friend an inquisitive soul could have. Once he and I set out to find where Hitler's horse was buried out on River Road near the airport in New Orleans. His $500 Mercedes (another story - there is always another story with Terry) kept breaking down. We ended up in a hot auto parts store in Gonzales with souls in a similar desperate state and yet Terry pointed out powerful beauty in them all, the aging cashier's fallen beehive hairdo fighting against the busted A/C, the girl's name on a prison tattoo, how good a Coke tastes in such a situation. He loved everyone and everything and when you tuned into Terry's wavelength, you loved everything, too. The part he bought didn't fix the situation and that delighted him as well. "We are circling in on a solution; I can feel it," he chirped as we lurched and chugged back home. We did find that horse the following weekend, but that success was on par with the previous fiasco, just another stepping stone on the path toward the immense, unfathomable truth that surrounds us, that is us, and it is in that truth that Terry lived and all of us whose lives he's touched live as well. - Alex V. Cook The viewing will be held at the Owen Funeral Home, 12 Collins Drive, Cartersville, Ga., (770) 382-3030, Thursday, May 20. The funeral service will be Friday, May 21, at 2 p.m. There will be an informal gathering at his house, 728 East Blvd., on Sunday, May 16, at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for donations to The Nature Conservancy at www.nature.org.

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Published in The Advocate on May 16, 2010.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
May 10, 2020
He was a great guy and an incredibly talented photographer. He was always fun be around and he enjoyed life to the fullest.
Edwin Allman
June 1, 2010
i will forever be greatful to have known this wonderful, intruiging, and kind man. truyly one of a kind.
May 26, 2010
I love you and will miss you so very much, my friend. Thank you for all you taught me. I will pay it forward, in your honor.
Meg Reilley
May 20, 2010
Dr. Kennedy was a vast and growing swell of information, experiences, reflections and adventures. I will never ever forget what he taught me and how he allowed me to look at things through his eyes and my life is forever changed by his knowledge and undeniable love for all people, situations and life.
Kathleen Watson
May 17, 2010
A great man. A great teacher. My condolences to the family.
Marchand Williams CO'92
May 17, 2010
I'll always remember the stories. RIP, Terry.
R.U. Eddy
Christian Allman
May 16, 2010
My deepest condolences to Terry's family. I just want to say I didn't personally know Terry, but being in the service during Vietnam he was a brother of mine and very proud to say that. I have lost way to many friends lately to Agent Orange Cancer and I don't know if that is the cause of his cancer, but I do know how brave and honorable person Terry was and reading his Obit. made me feel like he was and is a true Gift of Gods. Thanks for sharing a little of Terry's story with us that were around during that terrible war and to see how he stood straight and proud and gave of himself. Some of the strongest people I know came from his time and I am proud to have so many friends that has moved on. I hope Terry was able to get his Louisiana Veterans Medal of Reconition, to see old friends and actually having a Govonor proud of the LA Vets to issue them personally. There were many tears there for the ones that weren't lucky enough to have made it but there was also joy there to see that our duty kept freedom going. My youngest son just finished a year in Iraq and also has very special feelings for the Vietnam veterans, I am so proud of him. Enough said, I am grateful to have a friend and brother like Terry. God Bless All. Phil
May 16, 2010
We loved Terry so much, as we do his family, Elizabeth, Eva, & Cassie. I'll never forget the photo studio in Plaquemine with Jim, and all the adventures shared, the stories told. He gave so much, and inspired so well, and dared us to find and face the truth. I'm glad he shared the spark with us for so long, that twinkle in his blue eyes. We'll miss you, Terry.
Laura A Landry
May 16, 2010
I loved Terry. He has been a great friend and associate professor in the Mass Communications Department at Southern University. His students are known throughout the United States for their photography. A wonderful teacher and great inspiration. He will be missed. Marilyn Goff
Marilyn Goff
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