James Clinton Kennaday, 86, passed away in Asheville, North Carolina on Saturday, April 24, 2021. Jim was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, on July 27, 1934 to Clinton and Ethel Kennaday. Early in 1937 the family moved to New Castle, Pennsylvania, where Jim grew up. Jim graduated in the class of 1952 from East Brook High School in Hickory Township, Pennsylvania. After high school, Jim attended Penn State for two years and then joined the United States Army. Jim returned to college at The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1962 and went on to earn a Master of Education. A lover of baseball, Jim started on the East Brook High School team and once had a try-out with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He went on to umpire minor league baseball in the Pioneer League and the Sooner State League, and to be an instructor at the renowned George Barr Umpire School. Later, in his forties, Jim played catcher on a city league fast pitch softball team, and one year batted .615 for the season. While on a tour in Germany teaching GI's how to umpire, he met Josepha Ann Davenport of St. Louis, Missouri, who was a civilian employee of the Army living in Germany. They married in Wichita, Kansas in 1960. In 1966, while still living in Wichita, Jim was recruited to teach math and science at Carmel High School in Carmel, California. With their first son in tow, Jim an Jo moved initially to Carmel Valley before settling in Pacific Grove, California, in 1967. Jim and Jo lived in Pacific Grove until the year 2000. Jim spent 28 years at Carmel High School, heading the science department and teaching Chemistry and Physics and for most of those years. In addition to teaching, Jim enjoyed officiating high school baseball, football, and basketball, including the 1984 California State High School Basketball Championship. Away from work, Jim was an avid golfer. He was a long-time member, handicap chairman, and tournament director at Pacific Grove Golf Links. Among his many accomplishments there, Jim won the club championship and made four holes-in-one. In retirement, Jim and Jo moved to the Asheville, North Carolina, area. Jim continued his good golf. He shot his age several times at the Asheville Municipal Golf Links. Jim also enjoyed frequent road trips across America with Jo, usually centered on a stop in California to visit the grandchildren. Jim stopped playing golf in the last year of his life due to his battle with cancer. He never stopped loving his grandchildren, his children, and his wife of over 60 years. Jim is survived by his wife, Josepha, his sons John (Christina) of San Jose, CA , and Thomas of Aiken, SC, his grandchildren Jack and Ben, his brothers David (Carol) of New Castle, PA and Robert of Basking Ridge, NJ, and his cousins Jack of Melrose, MA and Nancy Kennaday Varga of San Diego, CA.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Clinton Kennaday, please visit our floral store.