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Aretha Kenney

March 27, 1923 ~ November 10, 2019 (age 96)


Mother Aretha Kenney 96, departed this life Sunday November 10, 2019 in Columbia, SC. She was the mother of Aubrey Kenney. You may visit the family at 710 Middle St. Marion.

Funeral services are scheduled to be held at the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Saturday November 16, 2019 at 2:00 pm. She will be laid to rest in the Devotion Gardens Cemetery, Mullins. 

~ Obituary ~

On March 27, 1923, the third child of Jerry and Christiana Harps was born. Named Aretha, she somehow acquired the nickname “BeBe” and was affectionately called that her entire life by family and friends. I called her “Mother.”

Aretha attended the public schools in Marion, South Carolina and graduated high school from Marion County Training School.  After graduation, she later married Aubrey Kenney who was the love of her life, and to that union one son was born.  My parents enjoyed almost fifty years of blissful marriage until the Lord called my father, Aubrey Sr. home to rest on August 2, 1989 after an extended illness.

Mother was baptized at an early age and joined Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church in Marion, South Carolina where she remained a dedicated and faithful member her entire life. Prior to her illness and before she moved away in the year of 2000, she was also an active and loyal member of Mt. Moriah Order of Eastern Star #1.  She served faithfully and actively in the Mt. Moriah OES #1 and in Mt. Zion Tent #1 as long as her health permitted. Her failing health over the years, unfortunately, lead to a lapse in her membership, but both organizations always held a special place in her heart. 

Mother’s life occupation was a noble one and an illustrious one.  Her work life was spent at Finger Clinic Hospital in Marion, South Carolina. She worked in various and rewarding positions in the hospital, and she eventually earned a certificate as an Operation Room Assistant.  While serving in that position, she was responsible for preparing the instruments for operations and for assisting doctors during the procedures.

Mother Aretha was a rare, unique and special person who looked for the good in everyone and every situation.  Her qualities of sincerity, honesty, and humility allowed her to accept people without judgment and/or reservations.  These characteristics made my Mother well-liked and loved by family members, co-workers and friends.

Aretha always made her family feel that she was put on this earth to make two people happy - Aubrey Kenney Sr. and Aubrey Kenney Jr. Her love and loyalty to Aubrey Sr. was unprecedented.  During the latter years of his life and being bedridden for a number of years, Mother made sure that he was comfortable and contended at home.  As for me, she was always guiding, teaching and overseeing my development from my childhood until her last days.  Mother supported me in everything that I wanted to do and was always there even when I wasn’t so good.

When Mother became ill, our Heavenly Father rewarded her righteousness by providing a support system in Columbia, South Carolina that would make her happy for the rest of her life.  He put the Moore family there, and the Boyd family a few miles away in Sumter.  He brought the Ellis family from California and the Shannon family from Rhode Island and put them nearby.  He brought her sister Annie Ruth and Charles “Bobo” from the Mid-West back to Spartanburg and sister, Cynthia and Thomas Cordle from Colorado to Columbia.  This was significant because aunt Cynthia was a Nursing Facility Administrator and was able to oversee everything that was happening at the facility where Mother was living.  Of course, Mother also had the support of her sisters: Cynthia Diane and Mattie (who transitioned to heaven on August 2017) and other Marion relatives and friends.  Because of this support system, Mother was able to attend family functions on a regular basis, spend holidays with family and even visit Mt. Pisgah on occasions.  As a result, she had all the love, care and support to make her happy.  In fact, Mother would often tell me, “I am very happy here.”

Mother was preceded in death along with her parents: Jerry and Christiana Harps; siblings: Jerry, Howard, Benson, Ishmael, James, Kenneth, and her sister: Mattie Shannon.

Mother leaves behind to mourn her love and legacy ~ one son: Aubrey (Patricia) Kenney Jr; three sisters: Annie Ruth “Bobo” (Charles) Harps; Cynthia Jean Harps (Thomas) Cordle and Cynthia Diane Harps (Taft) Guile; three sisters-n-law: Elouise Margaret (Jerry) Benson and Joanne (Kenneth) and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

                                                          Respectfully submitted with Love, Sincerity & Gratitude

                                                                                                                       Aubrey Kenney Jr.

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


Funeral Service
November 16, 2019

2:00 PM
Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church
425 Henry McGill Jr. Street
Marion, SC 29571

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