Obituary of Miriam E. Kennedy (Dearborn)
KENNEDY, Miriam (Dearborn)
Miriam ‘Mim’ Kennedy, 88, beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend, passed away in peace on October 25, 2018, in Glastonbury, CT. An educator, artist, humanitarian and world traveler, Mim was a lady of positive spirit and true compassion, touching the lives of a great many students, colleagues, friends and family over a full life. She was predeceased by her cherished husband, John B. Kennedy, with whom she shared love, adventure and wonderful times.
Born on June 27, 1930, Mim was the daughter of Dr. A.D. and Tamara Eckerson, and grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, and Richmond Hill, Queens, NY. After attending Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, she trained at the Tobe-Coburn School for Fashion Careers and worked in fashion merchandising at the Abraham & Straus department store in New York. Mim later earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in early childhood special education from Montclair (NJ) State University. She had a passion for teaching young children and supporting services for children and families. In the 1980s, she was a co-founder of Programs for Parents Inc., a child care and advocacy non-profit organization based in Essex County, NJ, that has provided services to over 100,000 children and families as the largest agency of its kind in the state. She taught in child care services in Newark, NJ, and retired as a teacher from Montclair Kimberley Academy.
An avid traveler and lifelong learner, Mim logged visits to some 25 countries, reserving a special affinity for India and Mexico. She kept a home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, with her husband for many years. Her first visit to India in 1975, riding the rails, sailing on coastal steamers and staying in non-tourist lodgings, resulted in a deep appreciation for the country and people.
Mim was also a gifted watercolorist, exhibiting her New England seascapes, rural landscapes and Mexican scenes in art festivals in Maine and Massachusetts. In later life, she lived in Biddeford Pool, ME, long a family favorite on the seashore; in DeLand, FL; and Glastonbury. Mim was a voracious reader, enjoying authors from Trollope to Grisham and the daily New York Times (usually acing the Sunday crossword).
Mim was also a lifelong baseball fan, first attending games with her doctor father at the old Dexter Park in Woodhaven, Queens, where she remembered him attending to an injury to future Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella. As a big New York Yankees fan, Mim’s favorites were Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Joe Girardi. She also enjoyed tennis (Roger Federer) and football (Tom Brady), and highly recommended the Scottish sitcom, ‘Still Game,’ on Netflix to anyone who wants a good laugh.
Along with her outgoing personality, value of caring for others, and smile that could light up a room, Mim was a woman of determination and courage. A five-time cancer survivor, she quietly battled illnesses of aging like so many others, while maintaining her independence nearly throughout. Just a month before her passing, she met her goal of attending the wedding of her first grandchild on a Maine island, even getting out on the dance floor! Mim credited two brilliant doctors with saving her life a decade ago—surgeon Jason Gee of Concord, MA, and oncologist Roger Inhorn of Portland, ME.
Mim leaves four children who lovingly cared for her—Leanne Belleville of Biddeford, ME, and her husband, Don; Gary Dearborn of Croton Falls, NY, and his wife, Christina; Daniel Dearborn of Biddeford and his wife, Shari; and David Dearborn of Glastonbury, with whom she lived seasonally. She also leaves four grandchildren, Carly Dearborn of Lafayette, IN, and her husband, Michael; Danielle Dearborn of Greeley, CO; and Victoria and Aidan Dearborn, both of Croton Falls. Mim leaves four step-children—Dr. Daniel Kennedy, Cheryl Coe and Scott Kennedy of New Jersey, and John B. Kennedy Jr. of Manchester, UK; and nine step-grandchildren. She will also be missed by many dear friends in Florida, Maine, New Jersey and Connecticut. Mim was predeceased by Richard L. Dearborn, her first love and husband and the father of her children.
The family would like to thank Mim’s healthcare providers, including Hartford Hospital (especially Cardiology 10 North); her last primary care physician, Dr. David Mintell; the Hearth of Glastonbury; Athena Hospice; and a true angel who became the last of Mim’s many friends in life during her final week—Oxford Home Care caregiver Tiffany Thomas of Manchester, CT.
In accordance with Mim’s wishes, the family will gather in summer for a celebration of life and remembrance at her favorite place, the Maine seashore. Private burial will be in the West Granville (MA) Cemetery. Mulryan Funeral Home of Glastonbury is caring for arrangements. For online condolences please visit www.mulryanfh.com.