Judge John P. Kennelly
November 27, 2015
Judge John P. Kennelly, lovingly surrounded by family and friends, passed peacefully at home on the evening of Tuesday, November 3, 2015. John was born on March 29, 1954 in Orange, California to Patrick and Jean Kennelly. He was one of 7 siblings, namely Pat, June, Therese, Colleen, Cathy and his sister Jamie, who predeceased John. Graduating in 1972 from Mater Dei High School, John continued his education at Cal State Fullerton where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Thereafter, John attended law school at Western State University receiving his Juris Doctor in 1982. John began his legal career in Orange County, California. He moved to Truckee in 1989 where he spent the next several years running a private law practice in the historic CB Whitehouse. During these wonder years, you would find John ferrying his children between soccer or baseball practice, then racing back to court or the office to ply his trade. He never missed getting them to practice. In 1995 he served as President of The Tahoe-Truckee Bar Association. It was John's work ethic that led to him being appointed as Superior Court Judge of Sierra County by Governor Schwarzenegger. He moved to Calpine that same year because he wanted to live in the county he served. Judge Kennelly continued as Superior Court Judge from 2006 until his death. John was appointed to the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee in 2011 and served as Presiding Judge of the Appellate Division for the Superior Courts of Lassen, Modoc, Plumas and Sierra Counties. In 2013 John was named Judge of the Year by the California Chief Probation Officers Association. John met Katherine Hollingsworth in 1993 and it was love at first sight! They were married in 2006 at the Downieville Courthouse where Judge Kennelly presided. John loved spending time with Kathy and their children at their second home in Los Barriles, Mexico. He enjoyed cross country ski skating, driving his dune buggy and playing handball and golf with his buddies. John loved the game of baseball and being surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Kathy, his daughter Grace Eller and her husband Keith, his son Peter Kennelly, Peter's wife Gretchen and John's granddaughter Olivia, Kathy's daughter Ashley Connor, Ashley's husband Justin and their baby girl Ava, and Kathy's son Erik Greenwood. John will be remembered as our moral guide and advisor, a hard working, loving father and husband who always had an amazing attitude towards life. He had the ability to make the hard decisions fair. He was a strong yet calm leader who inspired us to be better people. He was steadfast and true. A celebration of John's life will be held on December 6, 2015 in Truckee, California at The Bar of America, 10040 Donner Pass Road from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Photos or memories for inclusion in John's celebration of life can be directed to his son, Peter Kennelly at firstname.lastname@example.org. In lieu of flowers, donations made in John's memory can be sent to the Plumas-Sierra Cattlewomen General Fund. Send to PSCW c/o PO Box 127, Sierraville, CA 96126. Note: donations are not tax deductible. And a final word from John…..remember, there's no crying in baseball!