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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Memorial held for longtime Pasadena Councilman John J. Kennedy

Memorial held for longtime Pasadena Councilman John J. Kennedy

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Family, friends and former City Council colleagues gathered outside City Hall on Friday evening to celebrate the life of John J. Kennedy, a longtime Pasadena councilman who died in office on July 21 at age 61.

The celebration was organized by the Kennedy family and the Pasadena City Council, on which Kennedy, a Pasadena native, sat for nearly a decade.

Kennedy died suddenly of unspecified causes.

“While we are all deeply saddened by the sudden loss of our friend and colleague, John Kennedy, we should always remember and celebrate his many accomplishments and contributions to our city and beyond,” Mayor Victor Gordo said in a statement at the time of Kennedy’s death.

“John Kennedy loved Pasadena and the people of Pasadena. He worked hard every day to make Pasadena a better place for everyone. He dedicated himself to helping others, and we are all better off because of his efforts. His was a life well-lived.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said at the memorial that Kennedy was a reliable colleague who prioritized making a meaningful impact on the quality of life of those he represented.

“From the start, it was clear to me that although we came from different backgrounds we had a lot in common,” Barger said. “I knew I could count on John to keep me rooted and appraised of his community’s needs.”

Kennedy attended Blair High School and USC, receiving degrees in International Relations and Economics. He went on to earn a law degree at Howard University School of Law, and later served as president of the Pasadena branch of the NAACP.

He was elected to the Pasadena City Council in 2013, serving on the Public Safety and Finance committees, and representing the city on the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority.

“John, as we all recognize, always served the people of Pasadena,” Gordo said. “And John did that with great dignity and distinction right until his final days.”

Kennedy’s family has requested that contributions be made in his honor to a scholarship fund at the Pasadena Community Foundation. Donations can be made at bit.ly/PCFKennedyFund.

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