Robert S. Kennedy

July 12, 2021


Robert S. Kennedy (Bob) passed away peacefully on July 12, 2021, his beloved wife Eleanor at his side.

Bob was a brilliant mathematician and MIT professor who loved his wife dearly.

Born in 1933 in Augusta, KS, to Kirk and Marene Kennedy, he is survived by his wife of 40 years, Eleanor, and three daughters: Carole (Tim) May of Greensboro NC, Nancy Schrimpf of Carlsbad CA, and Nina (Carl) Woodward of Stonington ME. In addition, he leaves 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.

Bob attended Kansas University, where he was President of Sigma Nu, President of the Student Council, and NROTC Battalion commander, along with many other academic and social clubs. He was one of four men selected to assist Admiral H Rickover in the development of Nuclear Propulsion and was aboard the world’s first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, when Mamie Eisenhower christened the bow and the commander uttered the famous phrase: “The Nautilus is underway on nuclear power.” The Nautilus went on to shatter all submerged speed and distance records.

Earning a doctorate at MIT in 1963, he stayed on as a faculty member of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department. During his tenure he consulted globally with government and industry, and lectured extensively on fiber optics. He was elected “Fellow” to  the IEEE for his contribution to the field of Optical Communication, the forerunner of fiber optics.

After retiring from MIT, Bob and Eleanor moved to Eastport, Maine.  Bob, a lifelong flying enthusiast, founded Quoddy Air, a commuter plane service between Maine and Boston. In 2015 they relocated to Peterborough,  NH, where Bob lived out his remaining years actively engaged in current events, mastering new technologies, and enjoying life with Eleanor. Despite health challenges in his last years, he remained upbeat. If you asked him how he was, his answer was always the same: Happy, and in love.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, July 16, 2021 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at Jellison Funeral Home, 25 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH.  A funeral service will be held on Saturday July 17, 2021 at 11:00AM at All Saints Church, 51 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert S. Kennedy, please visit our floral store.


July 16, 2021

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Jellison Funeral Home and Cremation Services
25 Concord Street
Peterborough, NH 03458

Funeral Service
July 17, 2021

11:00 AM
All Saints Episcopal Church (Peterborough)

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