LOS BANOS, Calif. — Jenny Kennedy Raines, whose family nickname was "Lob," short for lobster, died March 5, 2013, at Kaiser Permanente in Modesto, Calif. She was 86.
She was born Feb. 15, 1927, as Jenny Christine Kennedy in Garrard County, Ky. Actually, as the story goes, she was born Feb. 14, 1927, but her father went out and got drunk and didn't file the paperwork for the birth certificate until the next day.
She was the last of 11 children born to Jenny and Richard Kennedy. When she was born, Jenny was one of two sets of twins her mother had given birth to. Jenny's twin sister died when she was a year old.
At age 8, Jenny went to work with her mother, who helped her develop her strong personality, work ethic, sense of self and dedication to family and God. The family relocated to the Danville, Ky. area where she attended Bate School.
By age 25, Jenny was married to William "Bill" Turner and had two children, Elbert Thurman, born Dec. 20, 1946, and Edith Christine, born July 30, 1949. But her marriage didn't last.
In 1973, she married an old high school friend, Thomas Leon Raines, a Korean War veteran and long distance truck driver. The pair had randomly reunited while walking down a Danville, Ky., street and quickly kindled a loving relationship that lasted 40 years. The pair then relocated to San Jose, Calif.
With housekeeping as her trade, Jenny's resume included spending three decades working for some of Kentucky's elite. In California, she cared for the elderly, as well as worked at San Jose Hospital, Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center and Government Services Agency, from which she retired. Upon retirement, she and Thomas moved to North Highland, Calif. In 2011, Thomas fell gravely ill with cancer and was returned to Kentucky, where he passed on Nov.30, 2011. After Thomas' move to Kentucky, Jenny went to live with her daughter and son-in-law in Los Banos, Calif.
When she was able to, her hobbies included sewing quilts and repairing garments, as well as crocheting blankets. She was a whiz in the kitchen, doing everything from scratch, including grinding meats, jarring jellies and baking pies. She enjoyed jazz and blues music. Her favorite artists included Jimmy Smith and B.B. King. Jenny loved to dance, even with her cane, then walker and wheelchair.
Jenny is survived by her son, Elbert, a.k.a. "Brother"; daughter, Edith, a.k.a "Sister"; son-in-law, Alvin Draper; granddaughter, Ramona Lesa, a.k.a "Gopher;" grandsons Elbert Thurman, Jr. a.k.a "Bugs Bunny," and Steve Alexander, a.k.a "Smurfy Smith;" as well as great-grandsons Elijah Andrew and Jacob Isaiah.
Her parents, siblings and husband preceded her in death.
Her funeral was held Thurs., March 14, 2013, at Whitehurst Funeral Chapel, 1840 Center Ave., Los Banos, Calif.
A memorial and celebration of life was held at her daughter and son-in-law's home.
Contributions may be made to your favorite charity.
In Jenny's words, thank you for your goodness and your kindness, and may the Lord watch over you.