Helen was born in Kitchener on May 27, 1928 to William (Bill) and Priscilla (Sparky) Leis and spent her entire 94-year life in a city she was proud to call home. She married Louis Kennedy (died 1997) in 1949 and started on a journey she excelled at as a wife, mother to nine children, grandmother to 19 and great-grandmother to 12.
Her family meant everything to her and she was often heard bragging about her large clan. Loving, kind, thoughtful and honest, she was an incredible role model for her family. She was the kind of person who shared everything she had and welcomed anyone to her home. The Kennedy family Christmas gatherings on Waterloo Street were legendary, with dozens of visitors dropping in. There was always enough for everyone.
She loved to bake and there was rarely a day when there weren’t fresh cookies for after-school snacks or pies and cakes for dessert on the table. Cooking, cleaning and caring for a large family was more than a full-time job. Knitting was her passion, having made hundreds of pairs of slippers and mittens, sweaters and baby clothes. Her hands were never still with her knitting needles clacking away every evening.
After raising her children, Helen went out to work as one of the “cafeteria ladies” at KCI. She loved working at the school she attended in the 1940s and all of her children attended in the ‘60s and ‘70s. If she knew of a student who didn’t have enough to pay for lunch, she would quietly dip into her own pocket to make sure they had something to eat. That’s the kind of lady Helen was.
Forever loved and remembered by her daughters Catherine Owens (late Marv 1998), Janet Kennedy (pre-deceased her in 2009), Shirlee Kennedy (Garnet Dobsky), Barbara Kennedy, Karen Lawrence (Bruce) and her sons Robert Kennedy (Linda), Bruce Kennedy (Donna), Douglas Kennedy and Richard Kennedy (Elaine).
Grandma will be sadly missed and always loved by her 19 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Helen was pre-deceased by her granddaughters Julie Owens and Jaclyn Saunders.
Have a good long rest Mom, you earned it!
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of her life will be planned for a future date. Donations may be made to St. Marks Place.
Messages and condolences may be left for the family at www.tricitycremations.com or 519.772.1237. Please visit Helen's obituary notice on Facebook.