Ethel Kennedy age 82 of Groton

1937 - 2020

No Vistitation Date Scheduled


April 15, 2020
Dolan Funeral Home Website

Ethel Kennedy

Age 82 of Groton


On Good Friday, April 10, 2020, Ethel Marlene (Clayton) Kennedy of Groton, MA was called home by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, following a battle with cancer.

Ethel was born on April 29, 1937 to the late Thomas A. and Mary (Kinney) Clayton.  She grew up in the Centerville and “Prince Spaghettiville” sections of Lowell. Following her father’s death when she was 17, Ethel left school to help support her mother and 3 younger siblings.

On August 23, 1957 Ethel married Richard F. Kennedy.  A short time later they moved to Groton where they made their home and raised their 5 children.  Richard Kennedy passed away on March 9, 2007.

In addition to her most important position as wife and mother, Ethel also worked at, among other places, Sterilite Manufacturing, the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Cafeteria (while her children were in school,) Wang Laboratories, and eventually retired as the Cafeteria Manager  at the Swallow Union School in Dunstable, MA.

Although she never finished High School, Ethel held advanced degrees in practical knowledge and common sense. ‘Ma’, ‘Mom’, ‘Mummy’, ‘Ham’, ‘Gramma’, ‘Eth’, ‘Ethel’ and ‘Aunt Ethel’ will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

In addition to her parents and husband, Ethel was pre-deceased by her brother Thomas, who died in infancy, and her sister Mary Louise, who succumbed to pneumonia as a toddler.

Ethel is survived by her children:  Richard (Cherry) of South Hiram, ME; Philip (Brenda) of Gardner, MA; Jeffrey (Nancy) of Adams, MA; her only daughter Mary Elizabeth, of Exeter, NH; and Colin (Cynthia) of Pepperell, MA.  She is also survived by her brothers Horace (Ann) Clayton of Chelmsford, MA, Philip (Cynthia) Clayton of Rockland, ME, and her sister Joanna Clayton of Wilmington MA. She leaves a legacy of 11 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. She also leaves numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

She was greatly loved and cherished by all who knew her.

The Kennedy family wishes to thank the nurses at Nashoba Visiting Nurse and Hospice Association and particularly Nurse Jennifer Garcia who helped her remain at home until her passing.

A virtual graveside service will be Wednesday at 11am at DOLANFUNERALHOME.COM .  Burial will follow in Groton Cemetery, Groton.  A public celebration of life will be held at a later date.  In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Nashoba Nursing Service & Hospice, 3 Patterson Rd Suite D, Shirley, MA 01464   ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041.

7 Condolences for Ethel Kennedy age 82 of Groton

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    Marion Cronin


    Colin, Cindy, and family, I am so sorry for the loss of Ham!! I am grateful I got a change to meat her and spend time talking with her!! I’m sure she will be greatly missed! Please take comfort in all your living memories. Your family is in my prayers at this most difficult time.

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    Paula Rock


    Dear Colin, Cindy and Family. I want to let you know I am very sorry to learn about the passing of Ham. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time.

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    Dave and Fran McCarthy


    So sorry for the loss Of Ethel Kennedy
    She was a great cousin, and also a great historian
    We will miss her, she is with Our Lord.

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    Ethel was my first cousin and a very big and important part of my life. My mother, her dad’s sister was her aunt and she was very much like her in her humor and strength. As she got older in her looks and manner…she was a LOVE! I remember those Saturday nights when I was a kid and Ethel would get ready looking very young and beautiful along with her friend Pat for a night of dancing at the Commador in Lowell. Of course later she met the love of her life Dick and her dancing was always with him for the rest of their lives. Now they are dancing together again. She will be missed here on earth by so many who loved her. GOD TRULY BLESSED US FOR KNOWING AND LOVING HER..and SHE LOVED US!

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    Kathy Kinney


    Dear Rick Phillip Jeff Mary Beth and Colin

    It’s with a heavy heart that I write to all of you today. I am so sad today to loose two wonderful caring people, your Mother and her cousin, my husband Ricky. I remember the day your Mom called me to hire me for my job at school. I was scared to bits. Until she said, “No worries Kathy, this is Ethel your cousin and I will be your boss!” Those next four years were years that I will cherish always. She taught me a wonderful work ethic and gave me valuable life lessons. She was a wealth of knowledge and introduced me to family I never knew, including all of you. She taught me “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” I also got to know your Dad and had some great lunch conversations with him as well. Ethel will be missed by all who had the privilege to meet her and spend time with her and get to listen to her stories. She was such a giver, and I was a recipient of her gifts. I can speak for her cousin Ricky when I say he loved her too. We both benefited from her phone call to me. I pray for all of you in these difficult times while I too grieve for the love of my life Ethel’s first cousin Ricky Kinney. Be safe and stay in touch. Much love to all.

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    Anna Corey


    Dear Horace, Phil, Joanna and all my Clayton cousins and family,

    While it has been a week of terrible sadness and sorry for both our families, I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to you all. I’m rarely at a loss for words but they fail me now. I thank God for the gift of Ethel in my life and the joy she brought to all those around her. I pray that you find peace and comfort in your memories of Ethel and knowing we will all meet again in the glory of our Lord. When we hear the angels sing I know Rick and Ethel will be in the heavenly choir.

    Anna Kinney Corey

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    Vera Kelton


    Jeff, your mother sounds like an exceptional woman! Bill and I wish to extend our sympathy and love in Jesus to you and Nancy, to Corey and Samuel, and to all your famiy! Loss of a loved one is never easy, but knowing her love for our Savior and that you will see her again means so much! With Much Love, Bill and Vera Kelton

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