Arenetta “Nettie” (Rand) Kennedy, daughter of Charles Jefferson and Juanita (Herrora) Rand, was born April 8, 1892, in Cripple Creek, Teller County, Colorado.  She came with her parents to Light, Cochise County, Arizona Territory, in 1902 and attended school through the eighth grade.

At the age of fifteen Nettie went to work for the Riggs Cattle Company as a cook for twenty-five ranch hands.  She worked there until she met Francis Flanders Kennedy (1888-1942), a cowboy, and married him on January 31, 1914, in Tombstone, Cochise County, Arizona.

The first eighteen years of Nettie’s married life were spent raising their nine children:  Frances (Kennedy) Edwardson (b. 1915), Herbert Stanley Kennedy (b. 1916), Edna Kennedy (b. 1918), Katherine (Kennedy) DeSpain (b. about 1920), Mamie (Kennedy) Moss Hawkins (b. 1921), Cody Frank Kennedy (b. 1924), Adeline Elizabeth (Kennedy) McMullin (b. 1926), Phyllis Loraine (Kennedy) Gunter (b. 1929), and Hazel Dolores (Kennedy) Maynard (b. 1933).

All the children except three were delivered by Nettie’s mother, Juanita, who was a mid-wife.  The sixth child came quickly and was delivered by Frank while Nettie read from a medical book giving him directions.  The last two children were delivered by doctors.

Nettie’s second daughter, Edna, contracted spinal meningitis at the age of thirteen and was left blind and deaf.  In that same year, 1929, Nettie and Frank homesteaded land at Tonopah, Maricopa County, Arizona.  Times were hard because of the depression and Frank left home looking for work, leaving Nettie and the children at the homestead.

In order to support the children while Frank was gone, Nettie got a job at the sewing factory in Phoenix, Maricopa County.  Frank had to work away from home a lot, mostly in the mines, so over the years Nettie did whatever she had to do to keep the family together, including driving a school bus, raising turkeys and chickens, and renting a ranch she ran with two workhorses and two milk cows.  All the children still lived at home, and Nettie raised pinto beans, watermelon, tomatoes, green chiles, etc.  She sold most of the produce and milk to pay the rent and help support the family.  She also took care of both her mother and mother-in-law for many months prior to their deaths.

Around the year 19--, the family moved to Bisbee, Cochise County, where Frank got a job in the mines.  Frank died on December 2, 1942, at the age of fifty-four from peritonitis that was caused from a ruptured appendix.  After Frank’s death, Nettie continued to support her family however she could.  She sold Watkins products, made and sold tamales, sold Coventry jewelry, worked as a cook for a café in Superior, Pinal County, Arizona, and ran a hotel that furnished rooms for Superior miners.

In 1949, a friend who was postmaster at Tonopah offered to trade Nettie her house and ten acres for the land that Nettie and Frank had homesteaded and helped Nettie get a job as Tonopah postmistress, a position Nettie held until she retired in 1959 at the age of sixty-seven.  Even into her seventies, Nettie helped take care of her eleven grandchildren.  She enjoyed taking them rock hunting.

Nettie died on November 1, 1984, at Tonopah and was buried in the Louis B. Hazelton Memorial Park in Buckeye, Maricopa County, Arizona.

Donor:  Hazel (Kennedy) Maynard
Photo Located:  RGC MS-39, Box I-L, F-Kennedy, Arenetta (Rand)
Updated:  04/26/2019, Tom Collins