OBITUARY: Billy Ray Kennedy

Billy Ray Kennedy

Mr. Billy Ray Kennedy, age 86, passed away on January 17, 2022, at his residence in Mt. Pleasant, TN.

Funeral services for Mr. Kennedy will be held Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 1:00 PM at Williams Funeral Home in Mt. Pleasant, with Bro. Randy Kersey officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Due to the current rapid spread of COVID in this area, the family is requesting that only immediate family and relatives be present and that all those vaccinated and unvaccinated please wear a face mask. Burial will follow the service at Arlington Cemetery in Mt. Pleasant.

Mr. Kennedy was born December 6, 1935, to the late John Knox Kennedy and Emma Dugger Kennedy.

He was a lifelong resident of the Sandy Hook community in the Mt. Pleasant area of Maury County, Tennessee.

Billy Ray Kennedy is survived by his wife: Brenda Gail Howell Kennedy; his daughter: Deborah Ann Kennedy of Lebanon, TN; his son: Eric Ray (Melonie) Kennedy of Mt. Pleasant, TN; stepson: Barry Lynn (Phyllis) Garner of Pulaski, TN. Mr. Kennedy is also survived by his granddaughters: Bianca Grace Elizabeth Kennedy( Jon Wilkes), Karrie Lynn Garner (known as Nannerhead to Papa), Emily Thompson (Tony); grandsons: Phillip Kody Garner (fiancée Katelynn Hallett), Zachary Thomas Garner, Shay Ryan (Lorelle) Kennedy, and Adam Brown; and five great-grandchildren. Billy Ray is survived by his sister-in-law: Shirley Kennedy; brothers-in-law: Larry Hazelwood, and Toby Howell. Mr. Kennedy is also survived by a special nephew who he loved dearly, Darin Wayne (Jane) Kennedy, and great-nephew: Scotty Wayne (Christina) Kennedy. Numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins also survive him.

Billy Ray Kennedy was a graduate of Hay Long High School in Mt. Pleasant, where he excelled in football and baseball, having received the honor of being an “All Star” in both sports.

Mr. Kennedy retired as production superintendent after 49+ years of employment with Occidental Chemical Company in Columbia. Billy Ray held several positions over those almost 50 years at Occidental, but what he was most proud of was that he had perfect attendance while working there, never missing a single day because of illness.

Billy Ray coached Little League Baseball and Pop Warner Football for the teams Eric played for and supported him throughout his high school years while he played quarterback in football and starter pitcher in baseball. He supported Debbie and the softball team she pitched for. He also supported Barry as a high school football player, rarely missing any of his games. He enjoyed watching football and baseball games, especially the Atlanta Braves baseball, Alabama Football, Tennessee Football, and any games that Peyton Manning ever played in. Billy Ray and Darin spent countless days searching for, looking at, trying out, and buying late-model trucks…that was his hobby.

In addition to his parents, Mr. Kennedy is predeceased in death by his sisters: Liddie Mae Burkett, Mary Elizabeth Thomason, and Betsy Thomason; brother: Tommy Wayne Kennedy; father and mother-in-law: Dewey and Alma Ruth Howell; sister-in-law: Patricia Ann Howell Hazelwood; brother-in-law: Ricky Lynn Howell; and the mother of his children: Norma Jean Copeland Kennedy. His four-legged companions also predeceased him: Buster and Tiny.

Active pallbearers will be Darin Kennedy, Scotty Kennedy, Barry Garner, Kody Garner, Zachary Garner, Adam Brown, and Colton Thompson.

Honorary pallbearers will be Shirley Kennedy, Johnny Ray Thomason, Mason Kennedy, Larry Hazelwood, Philip, and Jane Kincaid, John Davis Jr., Dalton Hayes, Terry Dugger, Joe Howell, Jordan Brooks, Mike Layne, and Jereomy Boshers.

Williams Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences can be given to the family by visiting

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