YOUNGSTOWN - Emelia Anne Kennehan, 92, passed away Sunday morning, June 10, 2018, after a brief illness.
Emelia was born Aug. 16, 1925 in Sharon, Pa., a daughter of the late Peter J. and Mary K. Kuhner Whalen, and was a 1943 graduate of Sharon High School.
Emelia worked for J.C. Penney, Cambria Slag, and at the National Malleable & Steel Castings Company in Sharon. She was also a swimming instructor and a lifeguard for the American Red Cross, and she loved teaching her friends how to swim.
On July 9, 1949, she married the love of her life, William Harry “Bill” Kennehan, in the original St. Joseph Church in Sharon. The couple soon after moved to the Mahoning Valley, and built their family home on Youngstown’s west side in 1956, where they raised their six children and enjoyed 61 happy years of marriage until Bill passed away May 25, 2011.
Mrs. Kennehan loved to cook and bake, and took a class on cake decoration. She baked all of her children’s wedding cakes, carefully crafting each one with beautiful roses and ornate decoration. Her clothespin pastries were especially delicious, and she regularly prepared wonderful family meals. In her younger years, she was an avid seamstress and made many of her daughters’ dresses. Emelia loved to read, especially mystery stories, and she loved playing cards, her favorite game being “500,” and she enjoyed playing in Sharon with her club friends.
Christmas Eve was a very special time for her, as she would enjoy having her children and their families together to celebrate the holiday, a tradition she always looked forward to. Emelia was very proud of her family, and had a strong Christian faith. Possessing a vibrant, wonderful, and kind personality, Emelia was truly a joy to be around.
Mrs. Kennehan was a member of St. Brendan Church in Youngstown, where she was a member of the Altar & Rosary Society and of the Prayer Chain.
Emelia is survived by her children, Richard Kennehan of Firestone, Colo., Carol Riggins of Denver, Colo., Linda (Mark) Mikula and James (Rita) Kennehan, both of Austintown, Ronald (Joanne) Kennehan of Berlin Center, and Jean Kennehan (Adel Hanna) of Macomb Township, Mich.; 10 grandchildren, Michelle (Sean) Lemaster of Waterford, Calif., Janet (Michael) Vlaiku and Karen (John) Fitch, each of Austintown, Nicholas Mikula of Lakewood, Marty Martini of Macomb Township, Heather Kennehan (Khaled) of Philadelphia, Pa., James Jr. (Shaina) Kennehan of Austintown, Eric Kennehan (fiancé Heather Folkwein) of State College, Pa., Colleen Kennehan (Amanda Johnson) of Savannah, Ga., and Dominic Mikula of Austintown; great-grandchildren, Kayla, Ashlynn, Michael, Jacob, Makayla, Carly, and Emily; many nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and a sister-in-law, Betty Torr of Hermitage, Pa.
Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by her brother, Robert M. (Sara Jane) Whalen; three sisters, Mary Frances (Jack) Pearce, Phyllis (Ozzie) Nelson, and Kathleen (Allen) Linder; a grandson, Jeremy Riggins; and a son-in-law, Bill Riggins.
Family and friends may call from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 13, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 477 N. Meridian Rd., Youngstown.
Funeral services will begin on Thursday, June 14, at 9:15 a.m. at the funeral home, and will continue at 10 a.m. with a Mass of Christian Burial to be celebrated at St. Brendan Church, 2800 Oakwood Avenue in Youngstown.
Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in Austintown, where Emelia will be laid to rest next to her husband.