Edward Kennett, 92, of Avenue, MD passed away on August 17, 2022 at home with his loving family at his side.
Eddie was born in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 1929, to the late John Kennett and Catherine Bailey Kennett. As a youngster, Eddie would get on his bicycle (after his parents went to work) and bike from S.W. D.C. to his grandparents farm in Avenue, MD! Think about that for a moment – a kid on a single speed bike with a pedal brake riding on Branch Avenue/Route 5 and other country roads which were just a bit better than passable in those days and roughly 60 miles each way! After Eddie had made this trip on his bike several times, his parents decided to let him move to the family farm where he has remained for the best part of his life.
At some point in his teenage years, Eddie returned to live with his parents in D.C. Rather than get into trouble often on the streets, his Dad (affectionately known as “DoDo” to family and friends) enrolled Dad into Gold Gloves Boxing. DoDo even became his boxing coach! Soon after becoming a Gold Gloves boxing champion, Eddie received a draft notice for military service. Not knowing what branch of the service to enlist in, he asked his girlfriend (whom he met at a dance one night at Pennie’s Bar) which branch of the service he should go into. His older brother was a USN veteran.
His “girlfriend” (who became his wife) told Dad that the Marine Corps had the best looking uniforms! And with that, Eddie enlisted into the USMC in 1950. While in boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. the Marines discovered that he had been a Gold Gloves Boxing champion. So, with that knowledge, Eddie was selected for the USMC Special Forces Boxing team. For about a year of his enlistment following a transfer to Cherry Point, N.C. where he earned the title as one of the “Fighting Flyers of Cherry Point”, Eddie traveled throughout the States boxing and promoting the Corps. In 1952, Eddie became the All USN/USMC boxing champion at the 165 lb. weight class! With that championship, he got to go to the U.S. Olympic Team boxing tryouts in Kansas City, Mo. He beat every contestant in his weight class thus earning him the right to go to the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland!
Unfortunately, when the boxers returned to Annapolis, the boxing coach selected all Navy fighters to go to the Olympics. The military had other plans for Eddie as a Marine. He received orders to report for duty aboard the USS Bennington – an aircraft carrier, for deployment to Korea. During the carriers approach to Cuba, the ship experienced mechanical issues that caused another carrier to be sent to Cuba to replace the Bennington. Eventually, Eddie returned to Cherry Point, N.C. where he became a plane captain completing his enlistment as a Buck Sergeant later in 1952 receiving an Honorable Discharge. Eddie was asked to become a Professional Boxer – an offer that he declined due to him being slighted for the Olympics. On October 4, 1952 Eddie married Genevieve “Teeny” Delahay at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church in S.W.D.C. Together they had two sons. Eddie and Teeny celebrated 66 years of marriage before her passing in 2019.
After Eddie returned home from military service, Eddie and Teeny moved to the family farm in Avenue where they spent the rest of their lives. Eddie has survived open heart surgery, and many subsequent heart procedures over the years. To Eddie and Teeny’s credit the family farm, known as Bluestone Farm, received a MD Century Farm Award for farms being in the same family for at least 100 years. The farm is also in the MD. Land Preservation Program, meaning that the farm will remain a farm for years to come.
Eddie became a successful farmer, part-time brick layer/laborer for Pierce & Gibson, and part-time truck driver for Cap’t. Sam’s Trucking. In 1949, Eddie joined the Seventh District Vol. Fire Dept. as one of their first members and was an Engineer for them for more than 25 years. In 1960, Eddie became a charter member of the new Seventh District Vol. Rescue Squad. He became a Life Member of the Squad after serving 20 plus years as a Driver/Engineer and top responder. During his 54 years of volunteer service, Eddie received countless awards for service including Squad member of the year and responding on the most calls year-after-year. Eddie was inducted into the Southern Maryland Vol. Firemen’s Association’s Hall of Fame in 1999. He was also inducted into the Washington, D.C. Boxing Hall of Fame for his outstanding career as a Gold Gloves & USN/USMC Boxing Champion. For many years, Eddie held the record for quickest knock out in an amateur fight – 9 seconds! Famous Washington D.C. venues where Eddie competed in boxing competitions included Griffith Stadium (home of the original Washington Senators) and ULine Arena.
On Eddie’s 92nd birthday the Rescue Squad family held a mini-parade to Eddie’s home, complete with cake and ice cream! He was touched by this fine gesture.
He is survived by his loving son George D. Kennett (Mary) of Avenue, MD; his grandchildren: Kristina Johnson (Benny) of Hollywood, MD, George “Robbie” Kennett of Hollywood, MD, Steven Edward Kennett of Avenue, MD, and Hayleigh Kennett (Thomas-boyfriend) of Mechanicsville, MD; his step-granddaughter, Katie Hunt (Johnny) of Leonardtown, MD; his great grandchildren: Evan, Jenna and Bryce Johnson and Emery Jade his sister-in-law, Judy Delahay of Avenue, MD and many extended family and friends. In addition to his parents, he is also preceded in death by his loving wife, Teeny, his son, Robert “Rooster” Kennett and his siblings: John K. Kennett and Patricia Ann Jones.
The family will receive friends on Friday, August 26, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. with Catholic and EMS Prayers both recited at the Memorial Service by Deacon Ammon Ripple at 11:00 a.m. at Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650.
Memorial contributions may be made to Seventh District Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 7, Avenue, MD 20609 and the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692.
Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com.
Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A.READ LESS