Kennedy, Ireland, 2000
Joe Kennedy
  • 63 years old
  • Date of birth: Sep 8, 1948
  • Date of passing: Jul 15, 2012
Let the memory of Joe be with us forever
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Joe Kennedy, 63, born on September 8, 1948 and passed away on July 15, 2012. We will remember him forever.
Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 10th September 2017

"Just finished 'Ruffian Dick' and a good read it is too. Some delicious little 'messages' from beyond the grave - Burton's thought that the Zanzibar seer was referring to my beloved Cornwall when describing "The big new land filled with different people", and later the character of J.T. Twiggs , a Cornishman "on his way to Salt Lake City in search of polygamy. Unfortunately he had reached that time in life when perhaps the responsibilities of such a happy situation may quickly overwhelm his abilities". Surely no relation to one M.J.T. Spriggs, a Cornishman of indeed sadly declining abilities? I can hear Joe tittering away in heaven from here."

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 8th September 2017

"Happy Belated Birthday Joe!"

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 15th July 2017

"Hope all is well with you Joe. Planted a small garden out front recently with some flowers and a few edibles. Another beautiful day up at your Hale :)"

This tribute was added by Tom Riley on 15th July 2017

"I can't believe it is 5 years since Joe died. I would like him to know that I visited Sir Richard Francis Burton's grave last fall, and passed a copy of "Ruffian Dick" on to a member of the Royal Geographical Society, Dr. Andrew Warren, who is an African explorer in his own right. Andrew and I made the trek deep into the wilds of the London Suburbs to Mortlake, where we awoke the priest to open the gastes to St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery.  I emailed this to all Joe's friends last March, but I did not put it here."

This tribute was added by Kent Davenport on 22nd October 2016

"Go Cubs"

This tribute was added by Serge Avery on 21st October 2016

"What a thrill it was to receive my copy of Ruffian Dick hot off the presses today.  I read a draft of it in 1993 and always hoped it would see publication.  Man, just wish Joe was around for what surely would be one helluva of a book release party.   Here is a link to it on Amazon"

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 9th September 2016

"Happy Birthday, Joe. Just found a file of 2006 email exchanges with Joe, when I was going through a rather complicated time of life. He as usual offered sage advice (October 5 2006):
"The siren coos she is wearing nothing, and the next thing you know Ulysses' boat is on the rocks. After you ruan way, hide yourself deep in a bottle Professor Spriggs, or numb yourself through the kava bowl. Be no slave to biology if you value your life. Remember Aldous Huxley who saidi, 'An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex'."
We all miss him, that's why we are still checking out the website. Like many of us I'll lift a glass tonight.

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 8th September 2016

"Happy Birthday Joe! Thanks for building this wonderful home! I hope you are well and happy. Took a look at your book on the North Shore and Pupukea today. So on point. Thank you for the history lesson :)"

This tribute was added by boyd dixon on 21st July 2016

"Joe's works and even his omnipresence are alive and well in John Enright's books, not just in Samoa but in New England and beyond..."

This tribute was added by Serge Avery on 20th July 2016

"Yes, I miss Joe just like everyone else especially making the pilgrimage to his Pupukea compound.  Matt Spriggs-Joe's book Ruffian Dick has an October 25 release date."

This tribute was added by Vicki Nelson on 20th July 2016

"Oh Joe I still miss you so much."

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 15th July 2016

"Yes, another year gone and another glass or two lifted. Does anyone know what happened about Joe's novel about Sir Richard Burton and the discovery of the Nile (at one stage called Ruffian Dick)? When last we spoke he had an agent working on getting it published.

As I sit here at my desk in Canberra, prominently displayed is the original Cebu Pool Hall sign from Joe's House, and before that from Chinatown. Every time my eye catches the sign I have a little chuckle of memory of Joe.
Matthew Spriggs"

This tribute was added by Jeff Clark on 15th July 2016

"About a year before Joe passed, my wife, Ann, and I were visiting Oahu, and I called Joe to see if he was available to get together.  We met for lunch somewhere on the north shore and had a very nice time.  Then he invited us to his house later that evening for dinner -- something tasty that he grilled. I brought some nice red wine, and he pulled out some of his favorite white, Montrachet (aka, white burgundy, aka chardonnay).  It was a fantastic wine, and I know not cheap (he had to special order it, I think).  Well, as the long evening progressed, we had more and more wine, and I think we ended up downing the reds and  3 of his precious Montrachet (and we indulged in other delights he provided).  We ended up spending the night in his “guest house”.  What a wonderful, memorable night. I have not had a Montrachet since that was as good, and I will never be able to drink a Montrachet again without thinking fondly of Joe and that night."

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 15th July 2016

"Raised a cup of Joe this morning. Said a prayer and asked for his guidance once again. I hear the birds chirping and singing this morning a bit more than normal. I am sure Joe is involved and most likely leading the way. Thank you for another shot at another day. Rainos."

This tribute was added by Jim Brady on 15th July 2016

"I can't believe that another year has passed.  Every summer I feel that I should be booking my flight to go celebrate our mutual birthdays.  I still think of him often and it never fails to bring a smile to my face.  I will have one for Joe and "wonder what the neighbors would like to hear tonight."


This tribute was added by Tom Riley on 9th September 2015

"I remember one of your birthdays, and the first Cubs game of the season. You led a rich life."

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 8th September 2015

"I am fortunate enough to live in Joes home now. :)  It is a beautiful day here as well.  Star fruit tree is going off.  Sounds like his Birthday is a great reason to fire up the BBQ tonight.  Happy Birthday Joe and thank you for watching out for me and allowing me to be here in your wonderful oasis!"

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 8th September 2015

"So, Joe's 67th Birthday today - an excuse to down a pint of best bitter here in the UK to toast his memory, and a remarkably sunny and pleasant day it is too. When I read the email about this auspicious day for some reason Joe's almost excruciating-o- the-ears fake whine as he imitated people whom he (at least temporarily) disliked came into my head "Weeeeeell Mistah Kennedy, your birth-day is it...." I will be lifting one up for all of us.

This tribute was added by Bion Griffin on 22nd November 2014

"I have adopted the time-honored custom of offering a bit coffee or alcohol to friends' spirits. So now Joe gets called for coffee and red wine whenever (read daily) I have some. It is a good way to remember a close friend. yes....Bert gets called too...."

This tribute was added by Mary Neville on 28th October 2014

"More than anything else, to borrow from John Denver, I'm  sorry for myself, that I never got to see him one more time.  You see, I am Joe's age, and we went to the same Catholic grammar school in Chicago.  (Yes, Keith Delaney, I remember you, though you were never in my "room," as we called it.)  Knew Joe as a kid from ages 6 through 12. The last time I saw Joe in person, we were 12 years old - at which point my family moved out of that neighborhood.   What an amazing kid he was!  He could talk to ANYONE of any age, any state in life, about anything, (I remember he used to love the White Sox) but you all know that and much more than I do. Via that same school's website (c. 2004?) I saw Joe's email address, and though we were now in our  50s, I thought I'd give it a whirl.   From that day forth, we reconnected by email in a very nice way.  He suggested many good books and liked to talk about Chicago, our home town.  So in Sept., I sent Joe a birthday card as usual.  Then on Oct.22, I received a letter from the nicest man who now owns Joe's house, saying that he had died > 2 years ago, of course I cried and mourned - am still doing so. I called my  brother who also knew Joe and told my daughter about this wonderful guy named named Joe Kennedy, whom I admired to the hilt for all kinds of reasons, long ago and more recently.  I envy ( in a nice way) all of you people who knew Joe as a man and not just via email.   We all had
a  connection with a really cool smart guy who is impossible to forget."

This tribute was added by Tom Riley on 16th October 2014

"In 1993 Joe, who was with Kehau then, hosted a luau for my fiftieth birthday. It was at the Bishop Estate Luau ground at Waimea Bay. What a wonderful day it was for me and my wife, Ann.  I will never forget how generous Joe was with his friends, and how much we all appreciated him."

This tribute was added by Michael Graber on 16th October 2014

"Right now our house in Capistrano Beach is being invaded by what Joe called, "the little maids"(ants). I've adopted this term as well as many others which makes me appreciate how some members of the tribe seem to live with you forever."

This tribute was added by Vicki Nelson on 15th October 2014

"Every time something good happens to me in my life, I reflect that the two people who would have cheered me on the most are gone: my mother and Joe Kennedy."

This tribute was added by Kent Davenport on 2nd June 2014

"Amen, I am always finding articles that are so absurd the first thing I think of is "I have got to call Joe and talk to him about this one". The Nefarious Bulletin Board in Manoa could use this one. He was the spice in all our lives.


This tribute was added by Jim Brady on 1st June 2014

"I'm with you guys.  I am surprised at how often I think of Joe.  I happens more often as summer approaches because I would be planning my annual trip to celebrate our birthdays.  It reminds me of his sage advise, "You have to ask yourself how many more steps you have and how many more piles of dog shit you want to step in.""

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 1st June 2014

"Thanks Boyd, that gives me the excuse to break open the single malt - precious stuff here in Vanuatu, and toast the old duffer myself - it's 6.30pm here so not TOO early. I'm with Bion on feeling how much we miss him and his good (or often Sooooo bad) advice. To you, Joe. Bottoms Up!
Matthew Spriggs"

This tribute was added by boyd dixon on 1st June 2014

"He was just mentioned at the SAA session in honor of his pal Jim Brady in Austin, and toasted afterward of course!"

This tribute was added by Bion Griffin on 31st May 2014

"I sure miss that guy!  And, I often think of him and could use his advise on writing!  ...and living the good life."

This tribute was added by Dick Moore on 16th March 2014

"On  the Northshore this week, &the thinking about Jim & Joe
Miss them both very much. What good wine we shared with them"

This tribute was added by Dennis Callan on 4th August 2013

"I found an old video I shot with Joe 20 years ago and have now edited it into this movie on Vimeo
You will enjoy seeing our old pal again, in his prime, down and dirty in the excavation pits of Chinatown, circa 1993.  It plays well in full screen, yet it was shot in Hi8, so not the HD you are used to now."

This tribute was added by Kehaulani Padilla on 18th July 2013

"Matthew Spriggs, big, big smile.  I can just hear Joey saying that!    I hold those memories close to my heart and pull them up now and then to put me in a good space.  I can't believe its been a year!  I'm sure all of you have a certain memory of Joey - keep it close and he will lead you to a happy place.  A hui hou..."

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 18th July 2013

"I guess that time flies as you get older but it feels longer than one year since Joe died strangely.  After a year I would just remind you all, when after a few brews you want to crank up the stereo and sing along to your favorites, of the immortal words of Joe on such occasions: "I wonder what the neighbors would like to hear!"

This tribute was added by John Fogarty on 6th May 2013

"I first saw Joe emerging from a jungle death march into our camp in Dos Pilas, Guatemala in the late '80s. Within minutes it was like I'd known him forever. He was always the center of the room and larger than life in every way. We often exchanged rambling emails and phone calls. Working for him for a few weeks on the big island is one of my life's treasures.  I will miss him."

This tribute was added by Rainos Hayes on 11th April 2013

"I was not fortunate enough to know Joe, but was lucky to see him driving with his dogs from time to time.  I am in awe of the amount of work he accomplished and his legacy.  He touched so many peoples lives.  I hope to be of as much service to the world as he was."

This tribute was added by NANCY MCMAHON on 10th September 2012

"Met Joe back in the 1980's then I got to know Joe better or for worse when he became President of SHA. Matthew Spriggs convinced me that I needed to step up as a grad student and take an office in SHA, so I did.  I had many a long night talks with Joe about SHA and its issues back then. Recently I spoke to him about SHPD and its issues. Will miss you Joe, as you lived life to its fullest."

This tribute was added by David Nichols on 10th September 2012

"Flash forward a couple of weeks to Joe getting up the brevity to adventure down to the Pupukea Foodland for some liquor.  He runs into the friend and son whereupon the young Boy starts jumping up and down while pointing at Joe and screaming at the top of his lungs, "Greedy Fat Boy!, Greedy Fat Boy!"  Joe would just kill me with that story..."

This tribute was added by David Nichols on 10th September 2012

"Lots of favorite stories but, along the lines of self-effacement, here's one I still tell people about:

Joe was up at the Pupukea house telling a friend of his about how ashamed he was of his weight and kept referring to himself as the "Greedy Fat Boy".  This was in front of the friend's 9 year old son.  Contn'd"

This tribute was added by george lovelace on 8th September 2012

"Looks like you gave Joe a good sendoff. I met him  in the early 1970s when I came to the UH.  He was a nice guy, and the consummate story teller, the truth often stretched and embellished, but always entertaining.  I have lots of good memories, a few of them a bit rambunctious.  Thanks for making this web-page available.  Aloha to everyone, and a heart-felt "shout-out" to Byron."

This tribute was added by Jim Brady on 8th September 2012

"This is the trouble with remembering Joe, the memories just keep coming.  He was often the butt of his own jokes.  I remember his telling about having an awful meal at Dick’s Dinner. He stopped at a liquor store and loudly proclaimed, ‘I need something to wash the taste of Dick’s out of my mouth’"

This tribute was added by Jim Brady on 8th September 2012

"On Joe's birthday, I am reminded of my incredible good fortune in not waiting until Sept to make my annual birthday visit.  Joe and I spent his last week together and had a great time.  As I look down the list of messages, I want to say that he spoke fondly of many of you during that week."

This tribute was added by boyd dixon on 8th September 2012

"I guess I met Joe in 1991 through some of his Pupukea graduates but we found another mutual source of amusement after his visit to Dos Pilas in Guatemala and chance encounter with cave archaeologist and subsequent friend Jim Brady. After leaving O'ahu I never failed to ensure my first night back to visit started at Pupukea to recharge my batteries. Hasta la proxima, Joe."

This tribute was added by Kent Davenport on 2nd September 2012

"The memorial was a great day at a wonderful place. I met lots of new faces and saw lots of people I haven't seen in many years. I was not alone in that feeling. The tributes were wonderful and the food was great. Now we can go back to our lives. Joe lives in our memories."

This tribute was added by Keith Delaney on 30th August 2012

"Joe and I met in the 4th grade at Little Flower parish school on Chicago's south side and were thick as thieves from then on through high school.  It was a Stand By Me kind of relationship - lots of adolescent adventures and memories.  Joe followed his dreams and was always loyal to his friends.  He will be missed dearly."

This tribute was added by Dianne Lee on 27th August 2012

"I remember Joe!  He was a character that I'll never forget.  He was such a good friend and teacher, although I'm older than he.  The wine, stories, mutual friends like Kehau, and some good times.  Take care, Joe, and we'll see each other at the end of the path!"

This tribute was added by Pat Broe on 24th August 2012

"Joe has been a great friend of mine in excess of 45 years.  My four children grew up on a lot of Joe’s emails which were always tremendously creative and enjoyable.  I keep thinking that I’ll get an email from him any day.

I appreciate all of his friends … It’s just disappointing that I’ve not had the opportunity to meet all of you.  I didn’t go to Hawaii enough to see Joe.  He came to Denver f"

This tribute was added by Kehaulani Padilla on 22nd August 2012

"Joey, you are so missed, I know - you know, and you are smiling.  You have a way about you that no one can forget.  You have shown me true happiness and for that I am grateful.  You will remain forever in my heart and my soul.  Farewell my love"

This tribute was added by Terece Sato on 21st August 2012

"I met Joe through Kent Davenport--my boss.  I've known both of them for 29 years!!  More than half my life!!  I will miss Joe coming to the office asking for the "ole man".  Aloha Joe!


This tribute was added by Bion Griffin on 21st August 2012

"Joe was a friend and colleague for 40 years. We worked together in Hawaii and Samoa; we talked books and writing. We drank a lot of fine wine. We enjoyed food and company.  Annie and Marcus, and even my grandson Tim became friends. There's lots I, and you, cannot tell, I'll wager- like use of the Huilani palace years ago...I miss him mightily."

This tribute was added by Michael Dega on 20th August 2012

"Started working with Joe in 1992, Chinatown, These were not just archaeological projects to Joe but rather stories that were being unraveled. Joe gave each project a name or anthem, from "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown" to "The Screaming Man of Hau`ula". He was a good friend and mentor. He was a true renaissance man in an age of specialty.  His wit, humor, and friendship remain timeless."

This tribute was added by Liz Hauani`o on 20th August 2012

"Like MaryAnne, Joe gave me my 1st archaeology job~ jungle trail cutter. (same project, hahaha) This quickly turned into mapping, excavating, caving and a new-found love archaeology. My 1st SHA convention, birthdays in caves, good friends & lots of good memories <3 Thanks Joe, RIP <3"

This tribute was added by Sara Collins on 20th August 2012

"Met Joe in the early 1980s through archaeology. Worked as an osteologist on several of his projects that involved burials. Our friendship was cemented through 10+ years of regular discussions & meetings during my time at the SHPD. No matter what the topic, there was always laughter. Aloha, Joe - thank you for everything, most of all your friendship."

This tribute was added by Tom Riley on 19th August 2012

"I knew Joe from Grad school, and we knew people in common in Nebraska before that. Our friendship had no beginning and it will never end. Joe knew my Ex, and he knew my present wife. He and Kehau hosted my 50th birthday party in 1993, and he introduced me to many people I count as friends. We put up with each other..  ...what more can you say? The world is a lesser place with his passing."

This tribute was added by Butch Helemano on 19th August 2012

"Ua Aloha no wau keia kanaka me ka pu'uwai pumehana. Joe and I worked together on native Hawaiian issues, you may say it was an eclectic mismatch of the odd couple! While other native Hawaiians saw him as an opponent, I respected him and I loved him as a mentor, a freind and a person to polish off a couple of bottles of good wine in an evening of conversation at his home.I will miss him...."

This tribute was added by MaryAnne Maigret on 19th August 2012

"Joe gave me my first job in archeology 24 years ago. I'll never forget walking in to the office and meeting him and Jake and winding up a few weeks later making maps in the Puna jungle. That summer changed everything. I will miss you my friend."

This tribute was added by Victoria Nelson on 19th August 2012

"Correction: the Palace, not the Pink Palace, owned by the long-suffering son of Hiram Fong. Featuring the Nefarious Bulletin Board. And as Karen noted, Nikito Nikito the Frito Bandido. And the blue and yellow Nash Metropolitan, aka the Bumble Bee,parked in front. Not to mention the harvest up the hill."

This tribute was added by Victoria Nelson on 18th August 2012

"Met Joe on the Lapakahi dig1970. We all bunked in an RV that started heaving in the night because Joe,asleep, remembered some story I'd told and started laughing. For me and the other ladies he executed the famous dive resulting in crushed fingertip immortalized in Kenny operation videotaped in the Pink Palace. Fast friends from Lapakahi till two weeks before he died. ILove you, Joe--Vicki"

This tribute was added by Serge Avery on 18th August 2012

"I met JK 19 years ago when he hired me as a green archaeology grad student.  I walked into Joe's Pupukea mountain lair and never forgot it.  It was filled with Tongan princesses, scoundrels and the tellers of tall tales. Joe was a model to me and others about how to live one's life filled with excitement, curiosity, compassion and friendship.  You will be missed by so many!"

This tribute was added by Matthew Spriggs on 18th August 2012

"Met Joe when I arrived at UH to teach 1981-1987. Stayed in touch, visited him on several trips to Hawaii since. Some of our sessions have become the stuff of legend. Thanksgiving 2011 I recall was memorable for a late night duet of The Night they Drove old Dixie Down at full throttle, and Joe's inimitable "And what would the neighbors like to hear?" as he cranked up the stereo."

This tribute was added by Karynne Chong Morgan on 17th August 2012

"We were sweethearts back in the 70s, sharing the Rabbit Hutch (a screened room under an old house in Manoa Valley), Nikito (our one-green and one-blue eyed cat), and the love of baseball (we played for Spamʻs Lanai). We were looking forward to becoming Pupukea neighbors when retirement comes along in a few years.  So many delightful and loving memories--he will always be in my heart."

This tribute was added by Michael Graber on 17th August 2012

"I met Joe through Kent Davenport. I had heard the stories and I knew this was someone I had to meet! In June '87 I went to Afghanistan and Joe asked me to bring him back a present. It ended up being the muzzle cover for a stinger anti-aircraft rocket which Joe made an ashtray. I was very proud knowing I came up with a gift that he appreciated. He will forever have a place in my heart."

This tribute was added by Kent Davenport on 17th August 2012

"I knew Joe for 40 years and he was one of a kind. He was an Irish poet, a beacon that attracted many other friends. He could entertain a whole room with witty stories about life and irony. He had an enthusiasm for life that pulled the rest of us along.


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This memorial is administered by:

Kent Davenport

Kindly sponsored by:
Rainos Hayes


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