OBITUARY: Mary Susan Berry Kennedy


Mary Susan Berry Kennedy passed away on Friday, May 17, 2024 at the age of sixty-seven.

Mary Susan was the daughter of Sue and Dewees Berry of Franklin, Tennessee.

She was raised along with her 4 siblings on a farm off West Harpeth Road that she loved. She rode horses, played in the woods, and developed a love of nature that she kept the rest of her life.

She and her husband of 43 years, Delk Kennedy, raised their children, Sam and Berry, on their own farm, Glendale Farm. She made the farm and house a beautiful place and full of life. Mary Susan hosted countless people at Glendale, and for her, any guest was an occasion for breaking out the silver and good china. She was known for her beautiful flower arrangements, and for putting anyone who showed up to work. She was a lady with high standards, but she will be remembered for making everyone she met feel at home.

Kind, incredibly giving, and genuinely interested in those around her, Mary Susan made new friends wherever she went –from the waiter at a restaurant to the newest member of one of her groups. She was deeply loyal to lifelong friends from high school, college, Columbia, and the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, and she absolutely adored both the Berry and the Kennedy families. For the past 10 years, Mary Susan’s greatest joy has been her three grandchildren, who spent the night with her weekly.

Mary Susan loved playing with her children and grandchildren–hiking, reading, riding horses, singing, and playing “pretend” as a serious business. She was game for an adventure, and was proud that she was the brave one who jumped off the waterfalls when she was young, and was renowned for being an active grandmother at Monteagle and beyond. One friend said, “I don’t know how she does it. She goes to EVERYTHING – lectures, excursions, porch parties, movies, canoe trips, caving adventures, float trips, twilight prayers, etc.! I can only hope I’m like her when I have grandkids!”

Mary Susan always rooted for the Vanderbilt Commodores, no matter how many times they lost. She loved all things French after living there as a junior in college. She often laughed till she got tears in her eyes when she and her siblings shared their Berry family humor.

Exceptionally competent, Mary Susan got things done, and usually that thing was a service to her friends or community. Mary Susan was the heart of many organizations of which she was a part. Current and former organizations include: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (choir, Daughters of the King, vestry, altar guild, flower guild, children’s Sunday school teacher); Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (Board member and Secretary of the Executive Committee, President of the Women’s Association, Co-Chair of the Youth Committee, Long Range Planning Committee and Assembly choir); The Centennial Club (chorus member), Daughters of the American Revolution, Garden Club, Columbia Breakfast Rotary, Chamber of Commerce Spring Hill (chamber ambassador), Maury Alliance, James K Polk Association, Pay Grace Forward, and Kappa Alpha Theta.

She graduated from Harpeth Hall High School, where she just celebrated her 50th reunion. She earned her B.A. at Vanderbilt University, Masters in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. She was a professor at Columbia State Community College for 40 years before retiring to become busier than before, participating in civic organizations, helping run the family’s WKOM and WKRM radio stations, and working with her son to manage the cattle and sheep at Glendale Farm.

She is survived by her husband Sam Delk Kennedy Jr., children Sam Delk Kennedy III (Rachel Vest), and Mary Susan Berry Kennedy II, grandchildren Margaret Berry, Samuel Delk IV, and Anne Ridley Greenfield Kennedy, and her siblings Dewees Berry, Doug Berry, Will Berry and Amanda Moody.

Mary Susan was full of love for those around her, and she was much loved in return.

A Memorial service will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Columbia on Thursday, May 23, 2024 at 3:30 pm. Visitation with the family will be held Wednesday, May 22 from 3 pm to 5 pm at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.

Memorials may be made to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Columbia, Tennessee, or to the Monteagle Assembly Endowment Fund Corporation.


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