Family of Enid Musser Kennedy
Perfect Legacy for a Renaissance Woman
[Published July 2015] The late Enid Musser Kennedy was only a teenager when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, but she pledged her service as soon as she graduated from high school, entering the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps to serve in the U.S. Navy. World War II ended before she graduated from Memorial Hospital Nursing School in 1947, however, so she became an operating room nurse at Miner’s Hospital in Frostburg instead. “I was down at the University of Maryland, going to school on the GI Bill of Rights, and living at the veterans barracks,” recalls her husband, Ken Kennedy M’72. “We got married, and I applied for a spot in the veterans family barracks.” Enid expanded her skills to emergency room nursing, serving at Prince George’s General Hospital. After Ken graduated, they returned to Allegany County, where Ken took an engineering job at Westvaco’s Luke Mill, and Enid set about raising their growing family.
Enid’s family has decided to memorialize her and her dedication to the nursing profession with the Enid P. Kennedy Endowed Nursing Scholarship to support Frostburg State University students enrolled in FSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program. Ken and the couple’s eldest daughter, Lynn Fike, have strong connections to FSU through their service to the FSU Foundation. Ken was a long-time treasurer and member of the board and awarded the Pinnacle Award for his service. Fike is a current board member. Enid, who passed away in 2014, remained connected to her profession while raising her family. She stayed current by taking nursing courses over the years, Ken said. “I can remember her helping with blood drives here in town,” said youngest daughter, Lorri Rumburg. When Fike started college, Enid returned to employment, working for a physician in Frostburg. She also ran Allegany County Health Department clinics for expectant mothers, immunizations and child wellness. Later the Health Department hired her as a traveling school nurse for Oldtown and Flintstone schools in rural eastern Allegany County. “Each thing you do, you have to learn a new skill set, and that’s what she was good at,” said middle daughter, Andrea De Palatis. “There weren’t that many opportunities when she started her career,” said Rumburg. “She was all about education and knowing as much as you could possibly know. Even after she finished working … she went to Frostburg State and took some college classes, just to show that she could do it.” “And she was straight A’s,” added Ken.
Enid also enjoyed a rich personal and family life with many hobbies and interests, including active church membership, quilting, photography, knitting, reading, golf, bridge and traveling the world. She also loved and cared for her grandchildren, and set high expectations for them. As of this year, all seven of them have earned college degrees. “She liked things done well,” said Fike, “and had nothing but kind words about everybody.” All three sisters considered their mother a true Renaissance woman. Ken agreed. “I thought that this would be a better way to memorialize her life than investing it in bricks and mortar or something with a more finite life. This will theoretically go on as long as Frostburg State is here,” Ken said. De Palatis simply called the scholarship, “a perfect legacy.”