Joel Scott Kennedy

March 24, 1970 ~ July 16, 2020 (age 50)


TUPELO – Joel Scott Kennedy, while surrounded by his family, went to be with the Lord following a yearlong battle with cancer on July 16, 2020. He was 50. Joel was born in Ashville, NC, to James Earl and Brenda Kennedy, on March 24, 1970.  He graduated from Sovereign Grace Academy in Slaughter, LA.  Having grown up in the Houston, MS area, he became a Mississippi State Bulldog fan and attended MSU receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Physiology.  Later, he continued his education and got his Master’s from American Sports Academy. Joel dedicated his life to Athletic Training. Early in his career, he was an athletic trainer for the Philadelphia Phillies pro baseball team.  He was blessed to associate with a great group of colleagues who knew the value of exercise and physical fitness for one’s well being.  Joel was an employee of NMMC Sports Medicine assigned to the Tupelo Public Schools. Joel met hundreds of youth who were his friends and benefited from his personal encouragement.  A simple man at heart, Joel loved MSU sports, especially a baseball game at Dudy Noble Field, grilling outdoors, fishing, athletics in general, and his beloved rescue dog, Sophie.   He and his wife, Amy attended Lawndale Presbyterian Church.

A service celebrating Joel’s life will be held at 1 PM Saturday, July 18, 2020 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Pastor Bill Bradford officiating.  A graveside burial service will take place at 3:30 PM Saturday following the Tupelo Service at Ebenezer Cemetery in the Grady community of Webster County.  Visitation will be from Noon-service time Saturday at Holland-Tupelo Chapel (5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd., Tupelo, MS 38801).  For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at at 1 PM Sat. and will be permanently archived thereafter.

Joel is survived by his wife, Amelia Fulgham “Amy” Kennedy of Tupelo, and his step-son, Peyton Copley (Hanna) of Mathiston, MS; his parents, James Earl and Brenda Kennedy of Slaughter, LA.; 3 sisters, Rachel Bonner (Lance) of Madison, MS , Leah Velasquez (Maurice) of Baton Rouge, LA, and Sarah Smith of Slaughter, LA; his father-in-law, Roger Miller of Mathiston; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and their families, and a host of friends.  He was preceded in death by his mother-in-law, Ann Miller, and a niece, Abigail Bonner.

Pallbearers will be fellow trainers  Rhea Brown, Hunter Dawson, Jai Eschete, Mark Porter, Brad Voegele,  and Walt Wilkins.  Honorary pallbearers will be Amy Dawson, Brandon Grecinger, Josh Holt, Nikki Monk, Michelle Pruitt, Phil Weivoda, and Donna Wesley.

Memorials may be made to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, P.O. Box 2143, Tupelo, MS 38803. Condolences may be emailed to


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