Rita (Flynn) Kennedy, 74, of Southington, passed away on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at HOCC in New Britain, after courageously battling a series of illnesses over the past 11 years. Rita was a smart, feisty, funny and loving person. You always knew where you stood with “Rockin’ Reet!”
Rita was born on October 28, 1947 in Middletown to the late William and Irene (Callahan) Flynn. She graduated from Middletown High School in 1965 and went on to earn her degree from the Chandler School for Women in Boston. Rita’s career took various turns until she founded the employment search firm, The Kennedy Company, in 1978. After taking some time to raise her family, Rita re-entered the workforce and took a position as a paraprofessional at Southington High School, retiring in 2014.
Rita’s greatest joy was being “Nana” to her cherished grandchildren. She adored Ella and Owie (“Nana, my name is Owen!”). She enjoyed so many good times with the LaBellas and the DuBoses over the years. Hosting holidays with the McGowans was a joy to her and showed her fierce commitment to family. And she would love carousing with her buddy, Judi Housman, with whom she traveled to UConn women’s NCAA Final Fours in Philly and New Orleans. She became a rabid, and knowledgeable, sports fan, following the Yankees, the Celtics and UConn men’s/women’s basketball.
Rita leaves behind her husband of nearly 54 years, John A. Kennedy Jr, two sons, Jonathan Kennedy and his fiancée Lenora Okelly and Garrett Kennedy and his wife Yvette and 2 grandchildren, Ella and Owen, all of Brooklyn, NY. She is also survived by her stepmother and dear friend, Bette Flynn of Middletown, brother-in-law, Peter McGowan of Framingham, MA and a large extended family; James Kennedy of Otisville, NY, Paul Kennedy of North Easton, MA, Mary Kennedy Hietala and husband Craig of Enfield, Joseph Kennedy and wife Nancy of Somerville, MA, Francis Kennedy of Southington, Stephen Kennedy of Newington and numerous cherished nieces and nephews. Rita was predeceased by her sister, Evelyn McGowan.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Rita’s memory may be made to the Cam Neely Foundation, 30 Winter Street, 2nd Fl, Boston, MA 02108 (https://camneelyfoundation.org/).
Calling hours for Rita will be held from 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Monday, May 23, 2022 at the Plantsville Funeral Home, 975 S. Main St, Plantsville, followed by Words of Remembrance at 11:30 a.m. For online condolences and directions, please visit www.plantsvillefuneralhome.com.