MAY 2, 1950 - NOVEMBER 29, 2009


Rev. Charles Kennedy, Jr. noted musician and champion of heroes, unexpectedly went home to the loving arms of his FATHER on November 29, 2009. Charles was born in Puerto Rico on May 2, 1950 and spent his early years on the mission field in Puerto and Liberia. He graduated from East High School, attended Behrend and received his degree from Scaritt College of Christian Workers in Nashville, TN. It was there he met his wife of 38 years, Cynthia Buzza of Bangor, ME. Charles was ordained an Elder in the Church of God in Christ and the couple served as missionaries in Belize and Mississippi before returning to Erie.

Charles was a man of diverse talents which reflects his career, including roles as teacher, minister, musician, singer, director and life coach. Charles is best known for his championing of Erie native, Harry T. Burleigh, and other unsung heroes. He wrote and performed a one-man show about Burleigh's life, which he performed in a variety of venues throughout the U.S. [and overseas]. He presented the show at the Chautauqua Institute and performed excerpts with the Erie Philharmonic. More recently he has done artist-in-residence programs at a variety of schools, and did a variety of 'Quiet Hero" programs which recognized everyday heroes, especially those of the Underground Railroad.

His yardstick in life was measured by his strong, unwavering faith in God. One of his greatest delights was to empower others to become all God intended for them to be. Countless people testify to the fact that he was used as God's instrument to orchestrate their personal and spiritual growth. When he asked "how are you doing?" it wasn't just a greeting - he really wanted to know!

He was predeceased by his father, Rev. Charles Kennedy, Sr. He is survived by his mother, Mother Mary Beth Kennedy, of Erie; his loving wife, Cindy; two daughters, Jennifer Kennedy of Pittsburgh, and Angela Collins of Erie, with her husband, Aaron, and sons, Aaron, Anthony and Avery; and a son, Christopher, and his wife, Sarah, of Meadville. He also leaves three sisters, Mary Brown, her husband, Billy, and daughter Mary Katherine of New Orleans, LA; Elizabeth(Betsy) Rooks, her husband, Bill, and daughter, Alysha, of Denver, CO; and Grace Kennedy Foster of Erie, her husband, Cary, and daughters, Sarah, Taylor, and Joy; a host of other relatives and his church supportive family at New Beginnings.