Frances Ruth Kennedy

05/12/1928 - 04/04/2020

Obituary for Frances Ruth Kennedy

On Saturday, April 4, 2020, Frances Ruth Kennedy (nee MacMillan) a long-time resident of Grande Prairie, AB, passed away at the age of 91 years.

Ruth was born on December 5, 1928, in McLennan, Alberta to Daniel and Teresa (nee, Broughton) MacMillan. Ruth had ten siblings with whom she enjoyed good relationships, but she was especially close to her younger sister Edith (of Surrey, British Columbia), who she enjoyed weekly calls with right up until the end. She was also very fond of her sister-in-law Alice (Ted) of McLennan, Alberta.

She married the love of her life, Mac Kennedy in 1948 and they had seven beautiful children together (Corrine, Fred, Don, Randy, Douglas, David, and Judy). Ruth and the kids followed Mac as he moved around with the railroad, living in McLennan, Rycroft, Dawson Creek, and finally ending up in Grande Prairie. Many people will remember Ruth for working at the cafeteria in the CO-OP and helping with the Royal Canadian Legion Ladies Auxiliary.

She kept a clean house and fed Mac's sweet tooth with her baking - mastering among many things, baked bread, apple pie, cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, date squares, and of course, her famous rice krispy squares. It was common to open her freezer and see a large stack of pan-size treats waiting to be eaten.

Ruth was not always the easiest person to get along with and was not afraid to share her thoughts and opinions, but she and Mac made a good team as he helped balance her and soothe her ruffled feathers. She liked to show her love for her family members by opening her home to them, allowing many of them to stay for a time and she was always generous with her treats.

Mac and Ruth were married for almost 57 years, living apart only for the last few of those as he progressed through the late stages of Alzheimer's. When he died in 2005, she felt quite lost, acknowledging how much he doted on her and how much she missed him. Ruth was no stranger to heartache as she and Mac weathered the loss of four of their children between 1951-1990, and a fifth child most recently in 2019.

She was predeceased by Mac, her parents Daniel and Teresa, children Douglas, David, Corrine, Fred and Randy, and all but two of her siblings.

She is survived by her son Don (Denise) Kennedy and their children; Penni (Wayne), Kris (Karrie), and great-grandchildren Damon and Lyndon; her daughter Judy (Neil) Kennedy-Kerik and their children; Rick (Denyse), Tara, Darnell, Hailey, and great­grandchildren Lucy, Bentley, Nicholas, Mackenzie, Ayla, Piper, and Emma. Ruth will be lovingly remembered by her daughter Corinne's family; Darin (Cindy), Lana (Jim), and great-grandson Zachary, her son Fred's family; Jessy, twins Cole and Cain, and great-grandson Zackery, son Randy's family; Scott, Casey, and Lacey, as well as by her sister Edith Laskiwski (nee, MacMillan), and brother Howard MacMillan.

Ruth was legendary for her love of bingo and the casino. She was a skilled cribbage player who
played weekly and competed in many tournaments over the years. She was proud to share stories of taking home the jackpot and tournament winnings. Ruth was always happy to play with anyone brave enough to take her on - but watch out on the rare occasion that you beat her; cards might end up all over the floor! In her youth, Ruth enjoyed sports but had to curtail these activities after she received a serious head injury while playing baseball. Ruth still liked to watch sports on the television, and she was particularly fond of watching curling.

She and Mac enjoyed travelling, whether that be on road trips to visit family or off to places like Nova Scotia, Hawaii, Alaska, and Mexico. They also loved spending time with the kids and grandkids out at their family cabin at Wapiti Gardens. After Mac passed away, she continued to enjoy going out to the cabin with family but would get awfully cranky if anyone slept in her bed or left the place messy. Eventually, Ruth sold their home and lived with Judy for a time, but then ended up moving into her apartment where she lived for several years by herself. She liked it because she could walk a short distance and catch the bus to go shopping. A few years ago, she decided to try living with family again and spent some time with her son Randy and his family and then more recently with Judy and her family. She remained active right until the end, and regularly took the bus to go downtown by herself. She passed away peacefully in her sleep and is now reunited with Mac and her other loved ones.

A Celebration of Ruth's Life will occur at a future date. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Alzheimer Society- Alberta & NWT. # 102, 9823 ·116 Avenue, Grande Prairie, Alberta, T8V 484.

Care entrusted to Bear Creek Funeral Home 780-830-7742

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My condolences to the Kennedy family.Just to know that youre Mom and Dad are :tohether Again" What a gloriouse Easter they will have. The Donison and Kennedy connection, goes back a long way .Both families worked on the railroad, and also at the gr pr coop, Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Irene Donison Ponoka alberta
- Irene Donison

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, community hall, or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.

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Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

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We are here to help, we can arrange to have your loved one transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have them returned to the community. We use the same organization that brings our military home when needed.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of the body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.

What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?

Funeral homes and funeral professionals in Alberta are licensed by the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. If you are unhappy with the way a funeral was handled or the actions of a funeral home in Alberta, you may speak with or proceed with a complaint process to seek resolution of the matter. More information is found at  or by phone at (780) 452-6130 

How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $5,000-$7,000, however, it varies greatly depending on the kind of service you desire. In general, cremation tends to cost less than burial. The costs include professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, and the purchase of a casket or urn.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Of course you can, in fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honour your wishes.

Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?

It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online. An obituary lets the public know that a death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city, and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the name of the deceased’s spouse, along with the names of anyone else significant in their lives, such as parents, children or grandchildren. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

Do I need to have an embalming

No, embalming is often an unnecessary expense, even if a viewing is desired. There are times when we would recommend embalming, especially if there is an extended gap between death and burial or cremation.

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets, it includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.

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