Eulogy for Stetson
By Loren Stetson Kennedy (son)
Ocotber 1st, 2011
Photo - St Augustin Record
Thanks to all of you for coming today, Stetson would be pleased.
I chose not to be a common man. That is a quote I read some two decades ago and recall it having a profound effect on me. I was not sure why until I realized that my father, Stetson, was such a man. Jean Kennedy, a surviving sister, tells me that Stetson was different as a teenager. Even then she vividly recalls, he was thinking if broader issues, often at the expense of interest in his family. I can add that he was an uncommon Dad. I recall as a boy thinking how serious all of his discussions were. I thought it interesting how he always seemed to be focused on broad issues facing mankind. One of my friends at the time once asked, “Does he ever do things like play catch with you in the yard?” Well, no, I told him. In reflecting on that relationship now I realize he imparted a much more important gift to me, the thought that we can all make a difference. I have different causes than Stetson, but I nonetheless am influencing thinking and people’s lives in other arenas.
*(At this moment, a stunning large brown hawk swoops a couple times low over the audience culminating in a loud crow, causing such a reaction as to interrupt Kennedy from his talk, creating a mix of gasps and laughter from the attentive audience)
Looking at Stetson in terms of aptitudes, among his gifts was a photographic memory about all things concerning folklore, human rights and mother earth. As many of you know, he could instantly leap back 50 to 80 years and describe minute details of an event. As recently as a few years ago when we were in Key West, I witnessed him correcting my uncle Henry Ogden on the pronunciation of a mutual friend from the 1940’s. Henry was born and raised in Key West, Stetson was then a visitor with WPA.
Stetsons wish was that his legacy would be punctuated by those who shared his values about his causes. Let me publicly thank my son Sean for diligently working with Stetson and Sandra to build and maintain the Stetson Kennedy web site. For those of you who wish to support Stetson’s legacy there is an envelope in your program that can be used for financial support.