James Michael Kennaley, 61, of Fayetteville, NC peacefully passed away surrounded by family on 16 September 2023, after a brief battle with lung cancer.
James “Jimmy” was born on 17 November 1961 to the late Daniel “Dan” John Kennaley and surviving Kathleen Mary (White) Kennaley in Kansas City, MO.
Upon graduating from Rockhurst High School in (1980), Jimmy enlisted in the United States Air Force serving 10 years on active duty as a C-130 Aircraft Mechanic (1984-1994). While stationed at Pope Army Airfield (then Pope Air Force Base) Jimmy met his wife Pamela “Pam” and they were married in 1989, gaining a beloved daughter Heather Nicole. In 1990, they welcomed their son Jonathan Michael. While serving on active duty, Jimmy deployed to England and Korea. He missed his growing family dearly but spoke fondly of his travels abroad.
Following his time on active duty, Jimmy started working at Mann + Hummel (then Puralator) where he built a career as a mechanic.
He then went on to serve an additional 10 years in the United States Air Force Reserves (while working at Mann + Hummel) as a C-17 Aircraft Structural Maintainer. In 2010, Jimmy and Pam welcomed their first granddaughter Haley Marie with daughter Heather Nicole and longtime partner Shawn Jones. He retired in 2015 as a Technical Sergeant after 20 years in service (2004-2015). He received the following awards, medals decorations and badges: Air Force Commendation Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, AF Good Conduct Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service Star, AF Overseas Ribbon Short, AF Longevity Service with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, USAF NO PME Graduate Ribbon with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Small Arms Expert.
A nod to his sense of creativity and ingenuity, Jimmy and his brother Billy designed and patented the “Rope Runner” a multi-use boating apparatus that allowed the user to safely toss a rope from one to another. i.e. to assist with mooring a boat.
In 2015, his son Jonathan Michael married Hannah (Murden) Kennaley. From 2018 - 2022 Jonathan was stationed at Fort Liberty (then Fort Bragg) where the Kennaley family welcomed their first grandson Hendrix Michael in 2019 and their second granddaughter Eloise Harper in 2021.
After retiring from USAF he continued his career at Mann + Hummel (Puralator) which he considered his second work family for over 28 years.
Jimmy loved his family, cherished his grandchildren, and was a dear friend. His legacy and memory will live on through his unwavering sense of family, integrity, and responsibility. He was a beloved husband, father, Papa Jimmy, brother and friend.
We will always remember our fun, tropical shirt-loving air guitarist. Rock on! Love you, man.
He is survived by his mother Kathleen Mary (White) Kennaley; his loving wife of 34 years, Pamela Denise Kennaley “Clark” of Fayetteville NC. His son, MAJ Jonathan Michael Kennaley and daughter-in-law Hannah Murden Kennaley (Hendrix and Eloise) stationed at the Naval War College, Newport, RI; Jimmy’s daughter Heather Nicole Gordon and long-time partner Shawn Jones (Haley Jones) of Fayetteville NC; Three brothers, Robert “Bob” Kennaley and wife Cindy Kennaley (two nieces and one nephew), William “Billy” Kennaley, Patrick “Pat” Kennaley (one nephew); two sisters, Karen Byrnes and husband Joe Byrnes (3 nieces), Diane Hirt and husband John Hirt (four nieces and one nephew). And many extended family members and friends.
He is preceded by his father Daniel “Dan” John Kennaley (Popo); two brothers, Daniel “Danny” Kennaley (one nephew surviving) and Michael “Mike” Kennaley.
The Family will receive friends Monday, October 2, 2023 at Good Shephard Catholic Church at 5050 Oak Street. Hope Mills, NC 28348.
Interment will be held Tuesday October 3, 2023 at Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery located at 8220 Bragg Blvd, Spring Lake, NC 28390.