Dorothy Jean Kennedy

St. George, Utah – Dorothy Jean Nuttall Kennedy passed away on March 20, 2020 with her beloved husband of 66 years and family by her side. She died from multiple myeloma at the age of 83. Dorothy was born on September 4, 1936 in Twin Falls, Idaho to Jesse Greer Nuttall and Ora Lee Phillips Nuttall. Raised in Provo, Utah, Dorothy grew up on a farm with four brothers and two sisters. At 17, she married her high school sweetheart, Leon Joseph Kennedy, on November 20, 1953 in the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the New and Everlasting Covenants of Marriage. A modern-day pioneer with a tenacious, unconditional loving spirit, Dorothy raised six children and graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Music in 1970 at the age of 34. Further studies at the University of Salamanca in Spain qualified her to teach both 6th grade English and Spanish at Springville Middle School, where she touched the lives of so many young students for 27 years.

Beloved Matriarch, devoted wife, dedicated to Church and God, Dorothy was the love and glue that kept her large family together. Her fierce devotion, her indomitable strength, her passion for life, and her lifelong conviction to learning left a bountiful legacy to each and every family member.

Growing up close to nature, Dorothy passed her love of the outdoors and skiing to her family. She was a world traveler, curious of cultures, and a writer of her own family history, researching and compiling the stories of her pioneer ancestry. True to her dedicated and ambitious nature, Dorothy became an accomplished artist through her love of art. She painted the red rock landscapes of Southern Utah and captured the stories of her family heritage in a series of paintings. Never one to lie idle, Dorothy was a health advocate and a lifelong swimmer and rose to the level of Master Swimmer, joyfully competing in the Huntsman World Senior Games … and, not surprisingly, garnering a room full of medals for her accomplishments.

Dorothy is survived by her husband, Leon Joseph Kennedy, of St. George, Utah and five of their children; Steven Kennedy; Kim Barker (Steve) of Highland, Utah; David Kennedy of St. George, Utah; Susan Reed (Richard) of Springville, Utah; and Patricia Kennedy (John Biehn) of Madison, Connecticut. She was predeceased by her son Michial Leon Kennedy. She is also survived by 12 loving grandchildren, a host of sweet great-grandchildren, two sisters Patricia Johnson of UT, Diana Wirick of AZ and, three brothers, William Nuttall of MT, Jesse Nuttall of MT, and Joseph Leon Nuttall of UT. She was predeceased by two brothers, Jesse Nuttall (infant) and Larry Nuttall.

Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the family was grateful to hold a virtual memorial service on March 21, 2020 and will announce a date for a memorial service for extended family and friends in the future. In lieu of flowers, the family asks to “pay it forward” with kindness and aid to others in this difficult time, just as Dorothy would have done. Dorothy, whose faithful convictions in all aspects of life inspired those around her, remains a constant light that will never be dimmed.

Arrangements are under the care of Spilsbury Mortuary, (435) 673-2454. You are welcome to sign her online guestbook at



Second Visitation




Guest Book

8 Responses

  1. Leon, I’m sor sorry for your loss. My sincere sympathy and pray God’s comfort and blessings be with you and your family.

  2. To the Kennedy Family, Dorothy was a wonderful lady with a great family. She will be sorely missed by many. Our condolences to the family during this very sad and difficult time. Sincerely, Randy & Terese Revoir

  3. My mind is filled today with wonderful memories of this great lady and her family! It has been too many years and I miss my association with the Kennedy Family. My prayers and condolences are with you all and would love to be notified of a memorial for Dorothy.

  4. Great memories all those years ago. Mrs Kennedy student taught at Sage Creek Elementary, then I was privileged to have her as my home room teacher in sixth grade. Helped make us who we are today.

    Our condolences.

    Craig and Elizabeth Crandall
    Chesterfield, Idaho.

  5. What a darling Dorothy is! We can just see her teaching in Heaven and laughing and enjoying all those around her. She was surely a people person who made each person feel good and important. We send all our love to Leon and the family. We will love you both forever. You have been the best friends and neighbors ever. Walt and Marie

  6. To Dorothy’s family we send our heartfelt sympathy. She was a sparkle in the swim family, and a delight to watch grow in enthusiasm and success. God bless.

  7. I swam with Dorothy in multiple swim meets. What a wonderful woman! I have a lovely photo of Dorothy, Cindy Gilmore, and myself at the Utah Summer Games of 2020. Such a fun memory.
    Her tenacity to continue swimming throughout her life continues to inspire me to persevere and continue swimming. ❤

  8. Dorothy will always be a personal hero to me. I have only known Dorothy the past four years at swim practice, but her unfailing liveliness, spirit, and youthful vigor inspired me to first learn the new skill of competitive swimming at 72 years of age.

    “You can do it, ” Dorothy assured me. “Of course, you can. We are never too old to learn something new!”

    Dorothy was right, of course. I joined US Master Swimmers and with Lynne Lund coaching us, followed Dorothy’s example. In February 2019 Dorothy and I were part of a four person relay team that took Third Place in the United States for our 75+ age group in the One Hour Postal distance swim. Dorothy was absolutely delighted in her own best distance in that event of 2075 yards.

    Dorothy’s ready smile and encouraging support. will be greatly missed at the St. George pool. She was a strong and lively woman with unwavering faith in the human ability to dream and accomplish at whatever age.

    I am so grateful I listened to her good advice: “You can do it! We are never too old to learn something new!”

    My deepest condolences are extended to Dorothy’s family.

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