Jimmie O. Kennedy (born Virginia M. Olinger), age undisclosed at her request, died peacefully June 14, 2019, at her residence at Presbyterian Village North in Dallas, Texas.
During her long, vibrant and happy life she was first an actress, then a devoted wife and mother, a Cub Scout den mother and a Girl Scout co-leader. She then began a 35-year career as a professional book reviewer and became a passionate advocate for and “first responder” to stray dogs everywhere.
Jimmie was preceded in death by her loving husband Dr. L. M. Kennedy and her son John Thomas Kennedy. She is survived by her daughter Terri Kennedy Jones and her adored son-in-law Dr. Jesse Jones; her grandson Pastor Scott Morrison and his children, Hannah, Vivian and Jeremy; her granddaughter Kristin Kennedy Marsiglia, husband Greg and sons Matthew, Jeffrey and Peter; her grandson Greg Morrison, wife Aimee and daughter Dagen; and her daughter-in-law Marcy Kennedy Rappaport. She is also survived by her cherished friend and companion of the last six years of her life, Wilson Harris, and his family.
It has been said that Jimmie was born to perform. For thirty-five years she was a highly acclaimed book reviewer throughout Texas and in cities across the nation, often reviewing at large conventions. She has reviewed in New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Atlantic City, Washington D.C. and Miami. Her early years were spent in Canada, where by the age of nine she was involved in the Children’s Theatre of Toronto. She also participated regularly on a Toronto Saturday morning radio show.
Her family moved to the Lakewood area of Dallas when she was 13. Almost immediately she became involved in productions at Little Theater. She was active in the Sanger’s Teenage Theater, where she won best actress of the year. Jimmie won a scholarship to the Dallas Little Theater’s School of Theater, where she studied under the tutelage of Charles Meredith. She studied drama at Southern Methodist University and graduated from Cox Academy of Drama. Jimmie was runner-up to Gayle Storm in movie producer Jesse L. Lasky’s “Gateway to Hollywood” contest, which provided the winner with a contract for Hollywood productions.
In her private life she was a member of the Dallas Woman’s Club, the Marianne Scruggs Garden Club and the Avalon Sewing Club. Upon retirement she moved to Presbyterian Village North with her dog Chico and lived zestfully until her death.
In lieu of flowers, Jimmie asked that a donation be made to a dog rescue non-profit such as DogRRR (dogrrr.org) or Straydog (straydog.org).
A memorial service will be held at the chapel of Presbyterian Village North on Monday, June 24, at 2:30 pm.
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