Jamaica man turns 87 years young

Lennon Kennedy celebrated his 87th birthday at an outdoor party, surrounded by his three daughters, grandchildren, wife of 61 years Elizabeth, and Councilmember Leroy Comrie. He has lived in Jamaica for 52 years, and can remember the time when Rochdale Village Housing was the Jamaica Race Track.
Born on July 3, 1919, Kennedy helped his father raise his three siblings. His mother passed away when he was only four-years-old in Alabama. Kennedy came to Jamaica in 1946 after serving in the army during World War II.
He relocated to Jamaica from a crowded Manhattan apartment because of an adverse reaction by one of his twin daughters to the penicillin she was given to treat a bout of strep throat. The doctor prescribed open, greener space so that she could &#8220run, rip, and play.”
&#8220This is the only place that I could find in the 40's. Every community I tried to buy into wouldn't accept me. I guess because of my color,” he reflected.
Kennedy moved into his new home in April, 1952, without any ability to pay the following month's mortgage. In what he attributes as an act of God, Kennedy answered a knock on his door and signed for an envelope that contained a reimbursement for all the money he spent on his daughter's medical treatment. The medical expenses were covered by the Army. It was enough to pay the next mortgage payment.
As for his long-time residency in Jamaica he said, &#8220It's nice. I like where I am. It's quiet. There is no noise.”
Kennedy, who retired from the Brinks Security Company in 1984, works now as a security guard for the Allen Christian School. He has been a member of Allen AME Church since 1952, serving as a trustee and an usher.
He is also involved with the Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS), helping to coordinate their Home Maintenance Training Program and was honored with the Dorothy Richardson Award from the national office of NHS.
Kennedy's birthday celebration was a surprise given by his daughters Benita Sherman, Nancy and Cassandra Kennedy; he says that he has &#8220never been so shaken,” in his life.