Kathryn Louise "Toddy" Kennedy

Kathryn Louise "Toddy" Kennedy

December 22, 1936 - June 27, 2024

Kathryn Louise "Toddy" Kennedy

December 22, 1936 - June 27, 2024


Kathryn Louise Keefe Kennedy
December 22, 1936 – June 27, 2024

Kathryn “Toddy” Kennedy, 87, passed away peacefully in Rancho Santa Margarita, California in the presence of her family on June 27, 2024.  Beloved wife for fifty-nine years of Francis W. Kennedy.  Loving mother of Elizabeth (Mike) McCarthy of Vienna, Virginia and John (Pam) Kennedy of San Diego, California. Predeceased by her beloved son Andrew P. Kennedy.  Devoted “Grammie” to Dan, Kathryn, Grace, Margaret McCarthy and Jane Kennedy.

Survived by dear and beloved sister Helen Keefe Texido of Atherton, California, beloved brothers Pat (Gretchen) Keefe of St. Charles, Minnesota and John (Florence) Keefe of Dallas, Texas, brother-in-law Jim (Fran) Kennedy of Medford, New Jersey and 23 nieces and nephews. Also predeceased by siblings and in-laws Rosemary (Keefe) and Bill Kubicek, Norb and Mary Keefe, Phyllis (Keefe) and Har Tracy, Jean (Keefe) and Pat Lynch, Bill Texido; nephews Pat Tracy, Steve Tracy and David Keefe.

Toddy was born in Rochester, Minnesota on December 22, 1936 as the seventh of eight children to Edward and Mary Keefe. Raised in Chatfield, Minnesota, she was always proud of her Minnesota roots and heritage. She attended a one-room schoolhouse near the Keefe family farm, graduated from Chatfield High School where she was the 1953 Homecoming Queen, and earned a Bachelor of Science from Saint Cloud State Teachers College in 1958. Following graduation, she taught elementary school in the Twin Cities.

Toddy and Frank Kennedy married on June 26, 1965 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Chatfield. They raised their three children, moving with Frank’s career from Minneapolis to Duluth, Minnesota to Grand Rapids, Michigan to Dallas, Texas and finally in 1975 to Mission Viejo, California. She and Frank were blessed with many dear friends at each stage in life. In the 1980’s Toddy returned to teaching as a reading aide and then as a 3rd grade teacher for 12 years at the Mission Basilica School in San Juan Capistrano, a joyful and fulfilling vocation. In retirement Toddy attended daily Mass and volunteered at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano and Mission Hospital.

Toddy lived for family and home life. She was a dedicated and intuitive wife, mother, and grandmother gifted with a lively personality, strong faith, and great sense of humor.  Some of her greatest delights in life alongside raising her children centered on phone calls with her siblings and friends across the miles, recipe exchanges with her sisters, tending to her flower garden, and time with Frank at the end of the day. Most of all, her five grandchildren brought her unending joy. Toddy’s spontaneous, hearty, and contagious laugh will be remembered by everyone who knew her.  As E.B White wrote of Charlotte in Toddy’s favorite book to read aloud to her students, Charlotte’s Web, “Wilbur never forgot Charlotte…She was in a class by herself.”

The family offers heartfelt gratitude and respect to all the staff at Park Terrace Senior Living Community in Rancho Santa Margarita for the extraordinary personal care they provided her. Thanks also to Senior Hospice for the gentleness and comfort given to Toddy in her final days of her battle with dementia.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, July 15, 2024 at 11 AM at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano, 31520 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California. Interment to follow at Ascension Cemetery, 24754 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest, California, 92630.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made either to the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano at www.missionparish.org under Online Giving and note Kathryn Kennedy in the memo bar or to Reading is Fundamental at RIF.ORG/donate in memory of Kathryn Kennedy.

Mass Of Christian Burial

  • Date & Time: July 15, 2024 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano
  • Location: 31520 Camino Capistrano San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675 - (Get Directions)


  • Date & Time: July 15, 2024 (1:00 PM)
  • Venue: Ascension Cemetery
  • Location: 24754 Trabuco Road Lake Forest, CA 92630 - (Get Directions)
  • Phone Number: (949) 837-1331

Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano

Reading Is Fundamental

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3 responses to Kathryn Louise "Toddy" Kennedy

  1. Gigi Thomas says:

    Dear Frank and family,

    Please accept my deepest sympathy in hearing of Kathleen’s passing. She was such a special person who touched so many lives with her love, joy and laughter. May God bless you all in this time of grief. Rest in peace dear Kathleen. Much love.

    Gigi Thomas

  2. Rose Marie Garcia Fontana says:

    Dear Frank and family- my family joins me in expressing our sincerest condolences on your loss of beloved Toddy. What a gem of a human being she was- a gift to everyone lucky enough to know her.
    Now everyone in heaven will be enjoying her wonderful laugh and kindness. May God bless you and may your loving memories of Toddy sustain you at these difficult times.
    Rose Marie Fontana & family

  3. Sue McAfee says:

    Dear Frank & Elizabeth & John & Family, Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Toddy are so sad to know she is no longer part of our world. Toddy loved every child she taught. She would always end a sentence about Amy child with a positive note about any child even the most difficult. I always enjoyed her presence. Jan & Sue would celebrate Toddy & Mary’s December Birthdays together for many years. Toddy was a blessing to all that knew her. May Heaven enjoy Toddy as much as we were blessed to enjoy her.

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