Charles Thomas Kennedy

February 1, 1944 ~ June 13, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old


Charles Thomas Kennedy, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, passed away peacefully, with family by his side, on Tuesday, June 13.  Tom was born to Charles Rollin and Luella Edith (Schneider) Kennedy on February 1, 1944 in Lima, Ohio.  He grew up primarily in Wapakoneta, Ohio and graduated from Tippecanoe High School in Tipp City, Ohio in 1962.  After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Navy.

While in the Navy, Tom was a disbursing clerk and served in the Construction Battalion, better known as the Navy Seabees, with his homeport in Davisville, Rhode Island.  He joined the Navy to travel the world, and that he did.  He took pride in the fact he had visited all seven continents in his lifetime.  Tom was stationed in Greece, Spain, New Zealand, and Antarctica.  He took R&R in places like Tangier, Morocco, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Honolulu, Hawaii, and Bangkok, Thailand. He served a special assignment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1965 prior to a tour of duty in the Vietnam War.  Tom was honorably discharged at the Naval Station in Long Beach, California in 1967.

Tom took his clerking skills to start his civilian career at the Navy Finance Center in Cleveland, Ohio.  There, he met a colleague, Gretchen Louise Boros, of Orange Village, Ohio.  After a whirlwind romance, they were married on August 24, 1968 at St Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.  Tom enrolled at Cleveland State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting degree in 1972.  He became a Certified Public Accountant that same year.  Tom went on to have a very successful career in both public and corporate accounting, culminating in being VP of Finance and CFO of corporations in Cleveland.  In retirement, Tom brought his business acumen to VFW Post 8445 in Wapakoneta.  As Quartermaster, Tom was able to help steer the post back to a gathering place of local prominence and service to the community.

In his spare time, Tom loved to fish for smallmouth bass.  He was a member of the Ohio Bassmaster Tour but enjoyed fishing the Shenango Reservoir in Pennsylvania and Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee most of all.  He was a fan of many sports, but the Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball team had been his favorite since childhood.  Tom was very proud of his daughter when she chose to attend and subsequently graduated from the University of Dayton.

In addition to his wife Gretchen, of 55 years, Tom is survived by his daughter, Janet Louise Bentz, son-in-law, Lawrence Mason Bentz and grandson, William Kennedy Bentz.  His sister, Janet (Donald) Kochenour and close cousin, Donald (Kathleen) Kennedy, also survive.  Deceased are his parents and brother, Rollin “Buck” (Barb) Kennedy.

A Celebration of Life at the Wapakoneta VFW Post 8445 and burial at Dayton National Cemetery will take place at later dates.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Brian Joseph Bentz Memorial ROTC Scholarship Fund, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, Ohio 45469.

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