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Donald John Kennedy, age 78 of Buffalo, passed away on October 28, 2023. He was born on September 29, 1945, in Hendricks, Minnesota, to parents, Donald and Florence (Jensen) Kennedy. Donald was the eldest child, and his early years were spent on the family farm. He actively contributed to the daily operations, nurturing a strong work ethic that would define his life.

Following his graduation from high school, Donald pursued higher education in Wahpeton. He then met the love of his life, Jacqueline Martin, and they were joined in marriage in Minnesota.

Donald’s career as an aerospace engineer at Aerosystems allowed him to explore the world. He journeyed to various corners of the globe, setting foot on almost every continent, with a particular fondness for the vibrant cultures of Brazil and Singapore. His dedication and commitment to his work led him to retirement in 2015, marking the end of a successful and accomplished career.

Away from work, Donald’s true joy lay in the embrace of nature. An avid outdoorsman, he found solace in activities such as fishing, snowmobiling, hunting, and four-wheeling, relishing every moment spent in the great outdoors. However, his greatest happiness was derived from the time spent with his grandchildren and family.

Donald will be remembered for his independent spirit, strong will, and a remarkable sense of humor that never failed to bring joy to those around him. His caring and thoughtful nature touched the lives of many, and his unwavering support for his family remained a constant source of strength throughout his life.

Donald was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jackie, and his parents, Marvin and Florence Sandell.

He is survived by his children, Michelle Kennedy, Gina Ehlers, and Todd (Jennifer) Kennedy; grandchildren, Taran, Camden, Autumn, Addison, Danielle, Amelia, and Lucas; great-grandchildren, Isabella, Kaiya, Michael, Ava, Liam, and Noah; siblings, Jean, Phyllis, Donna, and Steve; and numerous other relatives and friends.

Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, November 18, 2023 from 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Buffalo American Legion Post 270 (304 10th Avenue South, Buffalo, MN).

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to The Peterson Chapel of Buffalo. Online condolences for the family may be directed to

4 Guestbook Entries

  1. Robert P Thielen

    Amy and Bob send best wishes to Don’s family. He will be greatly missed. He was an awesome person to know.

  2. Patrick J Ehlers

    loved don like a brother will miss him greatly. will always remember the things we did together. loved his stories. rest in peace my friend.

  3. Mandy Vannelli

    Papa Don!
    So very sorry to hear about his passing. My condolences to his family during this difficult time. He will be missed by so many.
    I remember him having the best 4th of July parties. He would always made me feel like I was one of his own. So very welcoming & kind hearted. Had a great sense of humor too.
    Rest in peace, friend.

  4. Mandy Vannelli

    Papa Don!
    So very sorry to hear this news. My condolences to the family at this difficult time.
    He was such a great guy and will be very missed.


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