Nature 28


John Richard Kenworthy

August 1, 1932 ~ December 14, 2018 (age 86)

John Richard Kenworthy, 86, of Grand Rapids went home to be with the Lord, Friday, December 14, 2018.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 65-1/2 years, Carolyn and by his three children: Christine Kenworthy and husband Terry Wheeler of The Woodlands, Texas; Carol Kenworthy of Grand Rapids and Paul Kenworthy, MD and wife Lisa Bomgaars, MD of The Woodlands, Texas.  He has nine grandchildren: Jack Wheeler of The Woodlands, Texas; Jillian Flook and  husband, David of Austin, Texas; Megan Kenworthy of Austin, Texas; Jessica Kenworthy and husband, Adam Hall, Phillip Johnson, Matthew Kenworthy, Becca Johnson, Rachael Johnson, Andrew Kenworthy, all of Grand Rapids, as well as by a great granddaughter, Isabel Caroline Hall. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy Morris and brother James Kenworthy. He was preceded in death by his parents EL and Myrtle Kenworthy and his siblings, Margaret and Betty.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, John was an athlete from his early years.  He played football, basketball and baseball at Northridge High School in Dayton, Ohio and both football and baseball at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.    At Wittenberg he met the love of his life – his “bride”, Carolyn Beard.  Originally a schoolteacher, John changed to his lifetime occupation in the insurance and financial products industry with moves to Fort Wayne and then Indianapolis, Indiana; Springfield, Illinois and ultimately Grand Rapids in 1970.  A longtime member of the Congregational church in Michigan, John also served others through blood donations.   He loved playing golf and softball and even did some skydiving in his 60’s. A successful knee replacement surgery allowed him to play Championship Senior softball into his mid-70s earning him a MVP designation in the 2002 National Championship.  He remained a fierce Ohio State football fan.  He was a “handy man” who loved to engage in household and outdoor chores and shoveled his own sidewalk up until he became too ill to live at home in April of 2018.   A dog lover, he walked his Jack Russell daily.  His enjoyment of family and travel provided many memorable animal encounters and mountaintop practical jokes.

Even in the depths of his illness, he remained a gentleman.  His dedication to his wife was a model of marital commitment.  Devoted husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, he will be greatly missed.  His family takes comfort and joy in his Salvation and Peace.  

Persons wishing to contact the family can do so at  A memorial service will be held in April.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks for those wishing to do so to make donations to The Alzheimer’s Association, 

John 10:28   I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them out of My hand.

A celebration of Life service will be held June 1, 2019 at Ada Congregational Church, 6330 Ada Dr., Ada MI 49301.

Donations may be made to:

Alzheimer's Association
25200 Telegraph Road, Suite 100, Southfield MI 48033-7443
Tel: 1-616-459-4588

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