In Memory


John Kenagy


John Phillip Kenagy

DECEMBER 19, 1950 – AUGUST 23, 2020

Obituary of John Phillip Kenagy


John Phillip Kenagy, age 69, of Indianapolis, passed away on August 23, 2020. He was born on December 19, 1950 in Wichita, Kansas to the late Cecil and Abbie Kenagy. He graduated, class of 1969, from North High School in Wichita. After high school, he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Wichita State University. Gifted intellectually, John first worked at Boeing Aircraft as a Technical Writer then pursued a successful career as a self-employed consultant for pharmaceutical and medical device companies across the nation.

During his time in high school and early college years, John excelled in playing basketball and football. While playing football at North High he achieved the “All State” award for his position as defensive end and was recruited to play football by several large Midwest universities. A gentle giant, John chose instead to play basketball for Liberal, KS Junior College for two years. John also had a deep appreciation and love for the game of golf that he learned from his father and then passed on to his son and daughter. He enjoyed playing golf in city tournaments in Wichita and frequently with his son later in life. He was a life-long learner who enjoyed traveling. John loved fishing and hunting and was quite the outdoorsman. He also enjoyed woodworking and had a deep appreciation for all kinds of music, art and photography. While living in Wichita, John regularly attended Grace Presbyterian Church. He had a sharp, creative sense of humor and a kind heart. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

John is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Joyce Roach; children, Jennifer (Bobby) Brady and John (Kristy) Kenagy Jr.; grandchildren, Anna Kate and Liam Brady; and siblings, David Kenagy, Beth (Roger) Samuels, Rob (Tammy) Kenagy and Walter Kenagy. John was preceded in death by his first wife, Judy (Bertram) Kenagy; and parents, Cecil and Abbie Kenagy. 

Visitation will take place on November 7, 2020 at 11:00 AM until the time of the memorial service at 12:00 PM at Feeney Hornak Keystone Mortuary, 2126 E. 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220. 

Memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Treasury, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203 or to the American Heart Association, 3816 Paysphere Circle Chicago, IL 60674. 


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08/27/20 05:22 PM #1    

Debbie Nassif

God Rest Your soul John. I remember good times with you.

08/28/20 01:12 PM #2    

James Wining

John, had a friendly and kind personality. He was Also a great basketball player. Sincerest prayers to his family.

08/28/20 04:03 PM #3    

Linda King (Hager)

I went to Junior High and High School with John.  Any class we had together we always were seated (becuase my last name was King ) alphabiticaly so I got to sit behind him.  He was very tall so seeing was a problem but we always had a laugh or two.  We used to joke as both our Dad's were named Cecil.  In sophomore English we both had Mrs. Parks - I had an infected hang nail and I guess neither one of us had ever had one - and I was complaining - John said let me look at it - and he did and said I think you have a splinter or something in it.  So he squeezed it and all this nasty looking stuff came out - we both kind of made a noise so we were in trouble and had to go out in the hall.  He came to my house after football one night and ate every damn pickle in my house.  So sad that he did not come to the 50th - he was well liked and we will miss him.  Rest in peace John - praying for your family during this time.  

08/29/20 02:14 PM #4    

Dave Blow

John excelled in basketball and football and in being a really nice and sincere person. We mere mortals revered and idolized John because of the truly wonderful and gifted person he was. He will be missed, and my prayers go out to his family.

08/29/20 04:01 PM #5    

Bruce Andrews

I got to know John my sophomore year through sophomore football and the Taggart family.  The Taggart's and Kenagy's lived close by in Riverside. It wasn't unusal if I went over to see Paul to see John.  John was so talented, gifted as an athelete, so humble and somewhat quiet.  I was fortunate in college to have spent playing basketball with John in pick up games a few times at WSU and one of my lasting memories was taking a jump shot over John and making it and the grin he gave "even a blind squirrel can find a nut".  I also remember a spring break with John, Bill Wakefield, and Paul Taggart and again, just appreciated being around John.   God bless and keep him and my thoughts go to his family on their loss.

09/03/20 04:20 PM #6    

Karla Roach (Wisdom)

I remember John from Junior High days at John Marshall. He was probably the tallest, best-looking guy in my Algebra class! The school desks just didn’t fit his long legs, so he would frequently be sprawled in the aisle. I remember him as quiet, but friendly, always offering a smile and a nod.

His athletic gifts were legend at North High and the love of sports was his passion. Looking through the yearbook brought back memories of seeing John on the basketball court and as defensive end on the gridiron.

He was a great individual and know he will be missed by his loved ones and friends. Fantastic tribute video! Rest in peace, my friend.

09/05/20 10:34 AM #7    

Edward Blincoe


At Marshall in Jr. High John was a grown man playing among us kids. His body was a good deal more developed than the rest of us. He was a basketball star. And, much admired. Later-
John and I played on the Redskin football team together. He was  the left defensive end. I played mostly on offense as left guard but often played defensive tackle next to him. John was great. Long body and arms that could reach in and foil an opponents best laid plans and plays. I think in the East or perhaps Heights game. I intercepted a hand off that turned into a fumble and was I piled up by the opposing QB and half-back. John scooped up the ball and ran. He was a good deal faster than me so the ball was in the right hands. I listened laying on that turf to the pained moans of our opponents conjure every epithet young men can muster. As, I whispered "Go John Go." John's legs seemed to stretch with each stride, He stiff armed, changed angles, rambled and evaded pursuit for 65 yards but was caught on the 3 yard line. We scored shortly after that. It was the point difference in that game. 


The '69 football team was remarkable defensively. It had the fewest points scored against, fewest points allowed, fewest yards allowed, fewest of almost everything. That team could hit, tackle, and baffle opponents through shear force of will.  It held City League records that stood for decades. The last time I checked there were still many records posted at North with the '68-'69's defense's name on them. Meaning that John had a good deal of those records and deserves praise and credit. RIP John and thanks for some great memories. Thanks for letting me watch you run young, nimble, and free from under a pile of discouraged opponents. Go John Go. Forever... Thanks! 





09/07/20 07:28 PM #8    

Charlene Marvin

Such sad news.. He was such a nice, friendly, sincere person. Blessings

09/16/20 02:12 PM #9    

Randy Wilson

John was such a good guy. I remember spending a lot of time with him and always enjoyed being around him....... It is so hard to believe that so many of us are gone. It seems like yesterday we were all at school getting ready to start our lives.

10/27/20 11:17 PM #10    

Bruce Quade

I knew John Kenagy from middle school (which was called “junior high school” back in those days). John and I were in the same art class together in seventh grade. While we knew each other as classmates we traveled in different circles and never became friends per se. 


John's athletic performance in junior high foreshadowed his prowess in high school. At North, again John and I had different interests, different classes and existed on different student strata. 


After graduation, John worked at Boeing in the same technical publications group as my father. My dad nothing but nice things to say about John and thought highly of him.


In 2019, John contacted me via LinkedIn an indicated that he was trying to reconnect with some of the people in his past. We exchanged  Christmas greetings and birthday wishes, but not much more. A few months ago I decided to compose a letter to John and try to reconnect on a it more personal level and then I get this notice that John has passed. I’m disappointed that my procrastination has caused me to miss that opportunity.


I often forget that people continue to age beyond the time we last see them. We are all mortal and are not always going to be available when we wanted.



And now for a story …


In junior high, John had a friend named Preston and they were as thick as thieves. They both were in the 6th hour art class that I was in.  John was a bit of a class clown so it was non unusual for him and Preston to get called down or addressed by the teacher for talking in class or some other shenanigans. One day John was apparently feeling his oats and was called down a couple times for some kind of tomfoolery and the art teacher wrote him a pass slip to visit the school office and have a visit with vice principal Arnold. Now it must remembered that this was still in the era of corporal punishment and Mr. Arnold was rumored to be a man of terrible and swift discipline.


After a couple of futile attempts to talk the teacher out of it, he left the room for the long walk to the school office and sure destruction. For about 15 or 20 minute there was a somber and uneasy silence in the art room when John finally returned to the classroom with an exaggerated limp, rubbing the back of his thighs, and exclaiming “ Boy, does that Arnold give hard swats.” He limped over to his chair and gingerly sat down.


The art teacher walked over and asked for the principals counter-signed pass slip. John said he didn’t have it … that he through it in the trash. 


“Will you retrieve it, please.” said the art teacher.


John made a semi convincing search through the trash can. “It’s got to be it here somewhere, but I can’t find it”


The teacher suspecting it would not be there either was already writing out a second hall pass for the office. “John, bring this one back signed.”


John did not return for the remainder of that class. 


However a female student  showed up a little while later and said she saw John come out of the boys room earlier and that he made repeated walks down the hall practicing his dramatic limp. It would appear that John might have missed his call as a thespian.


Sorry I missed you, John. 



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