Anita Gae Gibbs Kennedy, age 89, beloved, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, teacher and friend, peacefully passed away October 14, 2020 at The Haven at Sky Mountain Care Center in Hurricane, Utah. Anita was born October 31, 1930 in Richfield, Utah to Herbert Spencer Gibbs and Ida Pearl Howes Jensen, their only child.
Anita grew up in Marysvale, UT, a small town rich with mining history. She was the daughter of a business man and a hard-working housewife. Her father ran a gas station and store while her mother managed The Lodge, a two-story log hotel. Anita helped her mother cook, clean and see to the needs of the miners and travelers who stayed at the hotel. During WWII she helped the ladies in town sew quilts and clothing to send to the soldiers overseas, gathered metal and helped do whatever was necessary to help the war effort. She met and fell in love with the oldest son of Walter and Wilma Kennedy. Anita and Richard Ray Kennedy solemnized their marriage on December 20, 1948 in the Manti LDS Temple. Richard preceded her in death, February 9, 2014.
Their married life had very humble beginnings. They were hired to watch turkeys, while living in a tent, the first summer after their marriage. Anita and Richard decided to change the course of their lives and thus began a journey that would take them many miles and years before they were able to return to settle in their home state. Living in various locations in Utah, Arizona and Missouri, they raised three daughters before finally settling in Taylorsville, UT (West Valley City). There they welcomed a son to their family. During these years, Richard had been furthering his education culminating in his Doctorate degree in Geology. Anita had always enjoyed learning and so the time was now right for her to further her education. She began classes at the University of Utah graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. She began her teaching career and the daunting task of instructing eager young minds. Anita cherished her students and the opportunity to teach.
Anita was called to serve in many capacities as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from Primary teacher to temple worker. After many years of living in northern Utah, Anita returned to her roots in Marysvale and taught school at the elementary school in town. Sadly, her marriage did not last, but the love for her family, the gospel, and her Heavenly Father only grew stronger, as did her testimony. Anita loved music and was blessed with a beautiful singing voice. She shared her gift whenever it was requested. She enjoyed sketching and painting, trips to the mountains and all the wonders of nature which she loved sharing with her family members. After Anita retired, she moved to Henderson, NV to be closer to some of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was very active in the church and faithfully attended her meetings where she became, affectionately, known to all who knew her as “Grandma K”.
Anita is survived by her children: Vickie Lee (Douglas) Christensen, Valerie Camille Kennedy, Kimberly Sue Kennedy, Marc Christopher Kennedy; adopted grandson, Nicholas Cameron (Lisette) Kennedy; 8 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild. She is preceded in death by her parents; infant son, Richard Ray Kennedy, Jr.; granddaughter, Alexandra Ann Kennedy; brothers: Delone Ray Jensen, Norman Spencer Gibbs, Manton Clement Gibbs; and sisters: Aileen Evelyn Gibbs Cropper and Marie Louise Gibbs.
Her wish to be cremated will be honored. Memorial service and celebration of life will be held on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. in the Marysvale Ward Chapel. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com.
In lieu of flowers, take a moment to see the beauty and wonders of nature, live life and be joyful.