Chambersburg man retires, marks 93rd birthday in same week

June 26, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Harold "Jiggs" Kennedy, left, receives recognition from Chambersburg (Pa.) Borough Council President William McLaughlin to commemorate his retirement at age 93.
Photo by Jennifer Fitch

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — Lifelong Chambersburg resident Harold “Jiggs” Kennedy celebrates not only his 93rd birthday this week, but also his retirement.

Friday is Kennedy’s final day as an electrical inspector for Commonwealth Code Inspection Service Inc. For the past 28 years, Kennedy has been inspecting electrical work in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

The Chambersburg Borough Council honored him this week with a resolution. Kennedy received the accolade in a familiar setting, since he was a Second Ward councilman for 20 years until 2001.

“He’s always been interested in town business,” said his wife, Scherrie.

He still reads council meeting minutes regularly, she said.

“There is no better man,” said Tom Newcomer, a current councilman.

Kennedy, whose birthday is Wednesday, left school at age 15 during the Great Depression. He started working for Standard Oil, then joined the U.S. Army in 1943.

Kennedy became an apprentice electrician and earned his own electrical license. He partnered with the late George Pentz in business.

“He worked at that for 10 or 12 years,” Scherrie Kennedy said.

Kennedy spent 33 1/2 years working for the Letterkenny Fire Department. He also was assistant chief of the Friendship Fire Co.

A fall off a ladder and the subsequent back pain prompted Kennedy to transition from being an electrician to an electrical inspector. His wife said he enjoyed talking to electricians on the job.

Scherrie Kennedy said this birthday celebration will be smaller and quieter than the milestone ones at ages 70, 80 and 90, although the present is enviable.

“I bought him a new car for his birthday,” she said.

Kennedy said working hard and serving one’s community are just parts of life. He and his wife tell their seven children, 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren that life’s challenges pass in time.

They plan to continue traveling in Kennedy’s retirement. Scherrie Kennedy said she was not surprised her husband waited so long to retire.

“He wouldn’t know what to do with himself,” she said. “He always worked and loved it.”

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