Velma Anne (Kennedy) Maynard, DM, age 89, died peacefully on November 27th after a long, courageous, triumphant battle against cancer.
Velma lived a life of boldness, vigor, and reverence. As the first person in her immediate family to attend college in the early 1950s, she embarked on a non-traditional education at the University of Rhode Island as a member of the Alpha Xi Delta Sorority and Phi Delta theater club. At the theater, she met her soul mate, the late Deacon, Reverend Mr. Jacques Louis Maynard. They married during college and she graduated with a young baby in her arms.
Velma could have simply been defined as a loving wife and nurturing mother of eight children and many Irish Setters but she chose to be much, much more. Depending on the era, she was theater producer, Den mother, Bridge Club hostess, Army wife, Navy mom, book seller, teacher, English as a Second Language Expert, world traveler, and Collette tour guide. She was heavily involved in her Catholic parish, her beloved Saint Mary, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Crompton, Rhode Island as lector, outreach coordinator, and parish Women’s Club member. In addition, she volunteered at Gabriel’s Trumpet Christian Book Store in Coventry and spent hours in adoration at the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. In her later years she continued her volunteering spirit with the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and as a Dame of Malta, with multiple pilgrimages to Lourdes, France.
Among her many adventures, she orchestrated a family move from Rhode Island to Minnesota, and back, in a retired school bus. This trip was parlayed into many summers of travel, instilling in her children a love of America, adventure and Christian generosity.
Velma eagerly awaited a reunion with her deceased husband Jacques, of West Warwick, parents Charles and Rose Kennedy of Woonsocket, as well as her brother Charles (Buddy) Kennedy and sister Carol Mondoux. She is survived by her children Michael Jude of New York City and recently Cape Coral, Fla.; Karen Elizabeth of Fort Myers, Fla.; Gwen Marie (husband Robert) of Warwick, R.I.; Jeffrey Charles (wife Pauline) of Severna Park, Md.; Melanie Rose Lindgren (husband John) of Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Timothy Jacques (wife Collette) of Greene, R.I.; Christopher Matthew of Warwick, R.I.; and Eric Francis (wife Lori) of Franklin, N.J.; seventeen grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on December 4 in St. Mary’s Church, 70 Church Street in Crompton. Velma was buried with Jacques at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Crompton, West Warwick.