Cover photo for James and Joann Kenefick's Obituary
James and Joann Kenefick Profile Photo

James and Joann Kenefick

James and Joann Kenefick

Joann I. Kenefick, 89, died February 12, 2016, in Elk Horn, Iowa and James O. Kenefick, 97, died October 25, 2022, in Evans, Georgia.

Joann Ilene Watson was born December 16, 1926, the tenth of twelve children to George Mathis and Nellie Mae (Pierce) Watson in Grant, Iowa.  She attended school in Centerville and Atlantic, and after graduation attended AIB in Des Moines. On September 29, 1947, she was united in marriage to Edward S. Mullins in Atlantic. Three daughters were born to this union before divorcing in 1958.

Joann worked at the University of Iowa Register's Office in Iowa City. She was employed at Walnut Grove and George Howard Insurance Agency while living in Atlantic. She was a member of the Atlantic Golf and Country Club, Nishna Hills Golf Course, and the Elk's Club Atlantic. Joann thoroughly enjoyed bowling, playing bridge and golf, gardening, canning most of her produce, and was an excellent cook.  She quilted and could sew anything you could think of (including all of the kids’ clothing as they were growing up) and could also upholster furniture.  She looked forward to watching basketball on television and was so excited the time she got to see Larry Bird at Boston Garden when he was drafted to the Celtics. 

On May 7, 1960, she married James Oliver Kenefick in Maryville, Missouri.

James Oliver was born on February 5, 1925, in Dallas, Texas, the son of Eugene and Vivian Marguerite (Moe) Kenefick.  He graduated from Algona High School, later attending Iowa State University on the GI Bill.  James served during WWII in the United States Army Air Corp and was in the reserves for a period after.

James worked for the Iowa Department of Transportation as a Bridge Inspector until his retirement in 1987.  He was an avid bowler, reader, and golfer with long-time membership at Nishna Hills Golf Course.  James was also a member of the Elk’s Club.  He looked forward to playing cards on Wednesdays at the Senior Center.  He had a green thumb in his garden plot on Olive Street and took over the canning after Joann was no longer able.   

They are survived by Jim and Joann’s daughter, Diane (Dave) Brown of Evans, GA; Joann’s daughters and Jim’s step-daughters, Debbie (Bob) McAllister of Lakewood, CO, Suzanne Mullins of Cedar Rapids and Christine (Dan) Pedersen of Papillon, NE; eight grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and extended family. 

Preceding them in death are their parents; Joann’s siblings, Helen (Dell) Taylor, Dorothy (Cecil) Malone, Cleone (Mac) Penwell, Ron (Betty) Watson, Mae (Willard) Frazell, Morris (Mary) Watson, Max Watson, Joyce (Ron) McConnelee, Wayne Watson, Richard (Gloria) Watson and Georgia Shartner; and Jim’s brother, John M. Kenefick.

A Graveside Celebration of Life Memorial service for James and Joann will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, June 10, 2023, at the Atlantic Cemetery, with military honors by the Atlantic Color Guard.

Roland Funeral Service is caring for James and Joann’s family and their arrangements.  Condolences may be left at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James and Joann Kenefick, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Memorial Service

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm

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