Charlie Kennedy


Bancroft, Iowa - A funeral Mass for Charlie Kennedy was held Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at 2:00 PM at Divine Mercy Parish - St. John’s Catholic Church in Bancroft with Father Sunny Dominic and Father John Thomas concelebrating.  Following the Mass and graveside services at Greenwood Township Cemetery in Bancroft, the family greeted friends at a Celebration of Charlie’s Life at the Bancroft Summit Center.  In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the Bancroft Community Foundation Summit Center in memory of Charlie Kennedy. 

Charles Ambrose Kennedy was the son of Wm. A. Kennedy and Alice Higgins Kennedy, grew up in Bancroft, Iowa and graduated from St. Johns High School in 1970.  He earned his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of South Dakota in 1973. After passing his CPA exam, he practiced at a Big 8 accounting firm in Colorado before receiving his Master of Accounting & Tax from Colorado State University.  

Charlie returned to Vermillion, SD to teach at the University of South Dakota, which led to the only documented impulsive move in his life. His love story began the moment he saw Ellengray. After three months of knowing Ellengray, Charlie asked her to marry him and four months later they were married on May 28, 1977, in Vermillion, South Dakota.  The newlyweds moved to Flagstaff, Arizona where their son Patrick was born.  From there the family moved to Des Moines, Iowa and then to Bancroft, Iowa where Charlie joined his dad as a fourth-generation banker at Farmers & Traders Savings Bank and their son Stuart was born.  Charlie and Ellengray were blessed and grateful to celebrate their 45th anniversary, May 28, 2022.

Faith, his marriage to Ellengray, his family and his friends were important to Charlie.  He believed in the full potential of rural life, that we are here by choice and that there are no limits to the opportunities in small town living.  Charlie also believed in the full potential of people, he was inclusive and focused on the strengths of all people in his life.  Charlie was known for listening first, giving thoughtful consideration and sharing his thoughts and views when appropriate.  Charlie was generous with sharing his God given talents, his love, his time and his various resources.  He believed in leading by example and was a servant leader. He strived to think globally and act locally.

Charlie was proud that he and Ellengray raised their sons to be independent, thoughtful and freethinking.  It should also be noted that he passed along his sense of humor to both Patrick and Stuart.  The experiences gained through travel and the relationships built throughout his journey provided richness to his life.  In addition, those who love him will carry on his legacy of preparing good food and sharing conversation. 

Charlie found joy in each day and was grateful for his many blessings.  He also found pleasure and comfort in all the people he collaborated with, all the projects accomplished, his extended family and his marriage with Ellengray. Charlie’s legacy will live on through his sons Patrick & Stuart, along with his daughters in love Lindsey and Jessica and his five grandchildren Landen, Julian, Iyla, Max and Tommy. Charlie leaves behind his siblings Jan Kennedy Allen, Thomas Kennedy, Teresa Kennedy, Mary and Russ Seiler, John Kennedy, Robert and Liz Kennedy and cherished members of the Kennedy and  Gutzman families.  Charlie has now joined his family members and many friends who have gone before him.

Oakcrest Funeral Services of Bancroft in charge of arrangements.  Online condolences may be left to