Betholena Kennedy, 103, died peacefully at her daughter's home in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, July 18, 2021. She was born to Willie and Cornelius Douglas on April 5, 1918 in Wetumka, Oklahoma. She moved to Shawnee during infancy, grew up and attended school there and has remained in the community.
She professed a hope in Christ at an early age uniting with Nelson Chapel CME church under the pastorate of Rev. Burton. Mother Kennedy gave her time willingly to her church serving for many years as Sunday school teacher, treasurer, chairperson of Christian Education, stewardess, president of the Mariah Circle, and Vice President of the Missionary Society.
She also served as president and vice president of the Excelsior club. She was employed by the city as a librarian for 27 years where she mentored generations of children.
She was married to Carl Buford and to that union two children were born, Billy Earl Buford and Delores Buford (Rutledge). After her divorce, she married Tom Kennedy and a had a daughter, Tawanna Kennedy (Collins).
An avid traveler, she visited all of the states that her children lived plus trips to England, Germany and the Holy Land. She leaves to mourn her passing her children, Billy Buford (Violet) and Delores Rutledge, five grandchildren, Regina Howard, Derrick Buford, Tia Buford, Donna Kindle, and Edward Rutledge, son-in-law, J.P. Collins, 11 great grandchildren, Preston Kindle, Derek and Sean Kindle, Vanessa Whitehead, Sierra Smith, Amara and Devon Howard, Brianna and Evan Rutledge, Shaundiah Buford, and Niequa Buford, great-great-grandchildren, Mia Thurman, Messiah Thurman, and Aiyana and Briana Richard and a host of nieces and nephews.
Mother Kennedy enjoyed her birthdays and celebrated them with her children. On her 84th birthday, she celebrated at the Community Center in Shawnee where all the community was invited. On her hundredth birthday, she went to California where she celebrated with over 100 children, grandchildren, friends and family. She received a proclamation from the city of Los Angeles and from the city of Carson.
Mother Kennedy spent her last years with her daughter in San Antonio, Texas where she enjoyed attending church, luncheons, going to plays, as well as visiting with friends.
After a life well lived, she joins her husband, Tom, daughter, Tawana, nine sisters and four brothers plus a son in-law, grandson and grandson-in-law.
A visitation will be held on Tuesday, July 27, 2021 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at Walker Funeral & Cremation Service, 201 E. 45th Street, Shawnee, OK. A private, family only burial will be held at Fairview Cemetery.