John Earl "J.L." Kennedy, Sr.; 76, of Gulfport departed this walk of life February 14, 2014. �J.L.� was born January 13, 1938 to Johnnie Kennedy and Laura Hamilton in Gulfport, MS. He attended schools in both, Harrison and Stone County before enlisting in the United States Army. While in the Army, J.L. served his country honorably for three years. J.L. was united in holy matrimony to Vergia Ray of Roxie, MS. In this loving union were born four children Keith, Anthony, Sonja and Shakira. Having many ambitions in life J.L. worked several jobs to include: Keesler Field, Warfields Auto Body Shop, Ingalls Shipyard and as a longshoreman just to name a few. The knowledge he gained from those experiences helped mold him into a great business man and entrepreneur. J.L. had various hobbies; his love for nature taught him to be a great outdoors man. Whether he was fishing, hunting, gardening or tinkering with his various projects he always strived for the best. Also, J.L. was a man of unwavering generosity and kindness which was such a natural part of his existence. Even in illness he lived a very fulfilled and happy life spending time with his family, helping others, and doing the things he so very much enjoyed. J.L. shall remain forever in the hearts and minds of loved ones as we cherish those special moments. He was preceded in death by his parents Johnnie Kennedy and Laura Floyd, brothers Horace �Chub� Hands and Jessie Kennedy. J.L. leaves to cherish his memories his loving wife of more than 50 years, Vergia Kennedy; sons, John Kennedy Jr, �Pooley�, Keith Kennedy and Anthony Kennedy, Daughters Sonja (Tim) Kennedy-Jones, Shakira Lott, Monique (Jeremy) all of Gulfport; daughter Yolonda "Nita" Veal; son Dexter Washington of Gulfport and Avery Hunt of Yazoo, MS; his very close cousin Clarece Phoenix and a host of grand and great grandchildren, nieces other relatives and friends. Services will be held Thursday, February 20, 2014 at Services will begin at 11:00 am on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at Good Deeds Community Center in Gulfport with visitation one hour before. The family of Mr. John Earl "J.L." Kennedy, Sr. has entrusted his care to the professional staff of RICHMOND-AUGUST FUNERAL HOME.