William Douglas Kennedy was born in Mullins, South Carolina to the proud parents of John Mahlon Kennedy and Edna McDuffie Kennedy on July 8, 1940. He was the second of seven children.
William (aka Doug and Bill) attended Palmetto Elementary and Palmetto High School through tenth grade in Mullins, South Carolina. The family moved to Florida in 1957, settling in the Belle Glade community where he graduated from Lake Shore High School in 1960. He was popular amongst his peers—nominated best dressed his senior year, played varsity football for Lake Shore High School, and he was an avid swimmer. After graduation, he relocated to West Palm Beach. After working for a period of time, he later attended Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for two years.
After many years on the single circuit, he met and married the love of his life, Cynthia (“Lady”) Dent. To this union, he was blessed with Cynthia’s three children—Carla, Omari and Monico.
William was fortunate to obtain employment after post-high school completing certification requirements as a meat cutter. He was the first African American meat cutter at the Publix grocery chain. He was employed at several different Publix stores in the West Palm Beach area including North Palm Beach and Tequesta locations. After leaving Publix, he traveled extensively to Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Doug was born with an entrepreneurial spirit. He owned and operated an armed security company and a bookstore in West Palm Beach for many years. Additionally, he extended his entrepreneurial wisdom by educating his younger family members on how to become an entrepreneur themselves and how to be great managers of money. Generational wealth was very important to him.
William was a third-generation member of the Historical Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Mullins, South Carolina prior to relocating to Belle Glade. He attended many churches over the years in his adopted “home” state.
He took an extraordinarily amount of time in his yard cultivating beautiful roses; fishing was one of his many passions as well; carpentry…building useful items such as coffee table. William was loyal to his friends. A best friend of his moved out of the marital home leaving his wife with two young children and unreliable transportation. When her car broke down, she phoned him for help as she was unable to get to work and the children to and from school. The good samaritan that he was, he offered her his (new) car and told her to just keep the maintenance up on it. He later transferred the title to her.
William touched many lives and will be missed! He leaves to cherish his memories, his loving wife Cynthia (Lady), three children: Carla Burgess, Omari Rudolph and Monico Rudolph.
He is also survived by two sisters; Marion Kennedy, Vero Beach, Florida and Vanzell Kennedy, Mullins, South Carolina; two nephews, Derrick Kennedy, San Diego, California and Cory Taylor, South Florida; two nieces, Pia Kamla Clarke, Cary, North Carolina, and Bridget Nicole Kennedy, Port St. Lucie, Florida, and a host of other relatives and friends.