John Wayne Kennay


ASHTON – John Wayne Kennay, 64, passed away Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, at KSB Hospital in Dixon. John was born Nov. 24, 1954 in Dixon, the son of Donald and Rita (Vock) Kennay. He married Cynthia Cacciatore on April 1, 1989 in Byron. 

John is survived by his wife, Cynthia Kennay of Ashton; two daughters, Amy (Jason) Wombacher of Byron and Shary Hahn of Solon, Iowa; son-in-law, Neil Hahn of Solon, Iowa;  six grandchildren, Matt, Ryann and Kathryn Wombacher and Lyla, Hunter, and Landry Hahn; father, Don (Bertha) Kennay of Ashton; mother-in-law, Wanda Cacciatore of Byron; three brothers Ron (Mardelle) Kennay of Ashton, Donnie (Beverly) Kennay of Ashton and Rick (Doris) Kennay of Ashton; sister Joan (Mike) Pfeiffer of Ashton; brother-in-law Pete Cacciatore of Byron; two sisters-in-law, Sharon (Terry) Tamanaskus of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., and Kathryn (Jeff) Feste of Byron; and several nieces and nephews.

 John is preceded in death by his mother, Rita Kennay and father-in-law, Pete Cacciatore. John loved his family, his friends and his farm. He was known for his friendly and easygoing demeanor, his strength, his work ethic, his passion for football and wrestling – and in recent years, his active social media presence.  John never met a person - or a twitter meme – he didn’t like. 

John is survived by his wife Cynthia, his true love, his partner and his “Joan Jett” in life. John spent his workdays tending to his farming operation, but what gave him the most pride was his children and grandchildren. He was ever-present in the lives of his daughters Amy and Shary, with his role as the stoic center of the tornado that is his family of strong and smart women. John was a steady, reassuring and hardworking role model for ‘the girls’, and never missed an event or opportunity to support their interests.

When their children, nieces and nephews began having families of their own, Cindy and John’s greatest joy became helping tend to their ever-expanding flock of grandchildren, nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. John was a crazed sports fan for Matt, motorcycle road trip partner to Kathryn and a worthy banter adversary for Ryann, ATV buddies with Hunter and Landry, and Lyla was his little chore partner in the barns – he was a hero to his grandkids and they loved him fiercely.

John was a devoted son who poured his heart into farming with his father Don. For more than 45 years, the father and son team worked hand-in-hand creating memories that will remain with the entire Kennay Family for years to come. John Kennay was a husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

Visitation was from 3-7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at the Unger-Horner
Funeral Home, 400 N. 6th St. in Rochelle. A masonic service concluded the visitation at 8 p.m. at the funeral home. 

Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 803 Paddock Ave. in Ashton with Pastor Jessica Bakken officiating. Luncheon followed the funeral at the church. Interment was at 2 p.m. at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Byron. Please visit to sign the online guest book.   

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Ashton-Franklin Center FFA Club and the Ashton Fire Department.