Obituary of Watina Y Kennedy
“I have fought a good fight-I have finished my course.” 2nd Timothy 4:7
Watina Y. Kennedy, a forceful advocate for teachers, students, and educators in general passed Thursday, April 25, 2019. She was a firm believer in the rights of teachers and students to succeed despite their challenges. She loved her students and they loved and respected her. Her dedication and commitment motivated her to the point that despite her illness, she worked up to one week prior to her final stay in the hospital.
Watina, affectionately called “Tina”, was born on October 17, 1957 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Ardelia Darby and Purvis Darby Sr. She attended the Florida and Pennsylvania public schools. After successfully graduating from Simon Gratz High School, she matriculated at Wilberforce University, majoring in Elementary Education. While at Wilberforce, she was Student Government President and on the Dean’s List. Upon receiving her Bachelor of Science Degree, she went on to earn a Master of Education Degree. She continued to broaden her academic horizon by earning several supervisory certificates. She was rewarded for her efforts by being named Teacher of the Year twice.
Watina met Rick in 1995 and they were good friends before marrying on July 7, 2007. They enjoyed 11 years of marriage and 24 years of friendship. Watina meant the world to Rick! She loved traveling and sports. A cruise was at the top of her list for traveling and bowling for sports. She was really into bowling because she loved the challenge, the thrill of winning, and fellowshipping with her teammates. Many of these joy-filled experiences were shared with her beloved husband Rick Kennedy and her loving son Nathaniel Stills whom she adored.
Watina was a staunch supporter of the CEA, NJEA, and the NEA. Many principals can attest to her dedication in protecting the rights of her colleagues. She spent much of her adult life championing the causes of the Camden Education Association (CEA) and indirectly the rights of all students. Constantly determined to improve conditions for teachers and students, she attended many educational conventions and conferences in Atlantic City and throughout the USA to sharpen her skills. She continued to use those skills to enrich her fellow educator’s experiences.
Watina, during her undergraduate years, became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.; where she served as Basileus and as Dean of Pledges. She was famous for modeling her favorite colors, pink and green. She was part of a legacy, many of the females in her immediate family are AKAs. Watina’s lovingly sisterly spirit will always remain in their hearts.
She leaves to cherish her memory: a devoted husband, Rick Kennedy; a precious and loving son, Nathaniel; a devoted and compassionate mother, Ardelia Darby; a sweet mother-in-law, Mildred Kennedy; talented step children, Richard and Shari; wonderful siblings, Benita, Vanessa, Sabrina, Kenyetta, Janet, and Keith ; gifted grandchildren; Tatiyonna, Sanari, and Khalil; precious nephews, Demond and Bill; faithful aunt, Mary Frazier; her favorite cousin, Wanda Tyson; two thoughtful brothers-in-laws, Donald Kennedy (Tressie), Dereck Kennedy; and a host of relatives and friends.
She will always be remembered for her strong opinions and tenacity. Watina loved her students and they loved and respected her. She is now resting in the arms of our Savior. Let us rejoice and be cheerful for the times we spent with this educational giant.
755 White Horse Pike
Atco, New Jersey 08004
Fax: (856) 336-2098
Orlando G. Covington, Jr., Executive Director, N.J. Lic. No. 4377