Keith Kennedy/Courtesy Photo
Southern Miss M Club Hall of Fame inductee Keith Kennedy died from heart complications Dec. 28 at 53 years old.
Kennedy is survived by his wife Paige, his son Cody, his three daughters: Kelly, Hannah and Nicole, and his two grandchildren Drew and Kylie.
He was an active member of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg, where he served as a devoted leader and musician in “The Open Door” outreach program. He also served as the director of logistics at Howard Industries for several decades.
Kennedy first came to Southern Miss in 1980 and was awarded the school’s first swimming scholarship. According to Southern Miss Athletics, he was a four-year letterman from 1980 to 1984, one of only two four-year lettermen in the history of the program. As a freshman, Kennedy led the swim team in points and was named the team’s most valuable player. His sophomore year at USM, Kennedy was elected team captain, which was a rarity in collegiate athletics. Graduating from Southern Miss with a 3.0 GPA, Kennedy was awarded the NCAA post-graduate scholarship.
According to Keith Kennedy’s wife, Paige Kennedy, he was the president of Sigma Nu for two years during his time at Southern Miss. He also helped organize a swimmers reunion at a USM home football game where the swimmers marched in the parade and were recognized on the field.
“He brought by far the most attendees to his induction into the USM Hall of Fame,” Paige Kennedy said. “Which prompted John Cox to say that they were going to invite him every year.”
“He was a wonderful man who loved it all. While his recent passion was guitars, his forever passions were his family, friends and God,” Paige Kennedy said.