Kennedy remembered as insightful and spontaneous

Jamie Ross – The Aquinian

Student actor was 23 years old

Chris Kennedy performing at the STEEDS production of Faustus - Submitted
Chris Kennedy performing at the STEEDS production of Faustus - Submitted

Mike Coughlin will always remember Chris Kennedy as a quietly passionate man who was always there for his friends.

“He was a spontaneous guy,” recalls Coughlin. “Chris was always down to do anything with his friends; open to anything that would come up.”

Kennedy, 23, passed away in June from complications stemming from a heart condition.

He graduated posthumously from Saint Thomas University at the school’s summer convocation July 15.

Coughlin and Kennedy were roommates in Harrington Hall in 2005.

The two became close friends shortly after, and discovered they both shared a passion for the stage when they auditioned for The Winter Tale, put on the by the St. Thomas Early English Drama Society.

“He did a lot of acting,” says Coughlin. “He was kind of quiet, but I remember the first time I saw him on stage, he delivered a passionate reading. I remember asking him why he wasn’t an English major.”

Instead, Kennedy studied environmental politics, and wrote his fifth year thesis paper on the link between traditional conservatism and the green political ideology.

Coughlin believes Kennedy would have dug in to environmental politics when he was through with school.

“I could tell, when I met him, that this is a guy that loves politics, and loves to learn about the way things work and you got the impression that he was one of those guys that knew his stuff well and would share it in any way possible to make a difference,” he said.

Christopher Frederick Kennedy was the son of James (BA’89, BEd’91) and Katie Kennedy(BA’85, BEd’87) the brother of two sisters; Norah and Julia and the grandson of retired English Department professors Richard and Judith Kennedy.

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