Jeannette Edith Kidd
Jeannette Edith Kidd, 95, passed away Jan. 13, 2020, at Sentara RMH in Harrisonburg, Va. Jeannette was born March 24, 1924, to Leonard and Anna Johnson Cunningham at her paternal grandparents’ home (Fred and Sarah Cunningham) at Gee’s Corner in the town of Lenox, N.Y. She grew up on the family farm, Glenwood Dairy, Oneida, N.Y.
‘Jea’ graduated salutatorian from Oneida High School in 1942 and participated in various clubs and intramural sports. Attending Middlebury College (Vt.) in 1947, she received her degree in French and International Affairs. She was then employed as a social worker with the Madison County N.Y. Welfare Department.
In 1951, Jeannette married Arthur William Kidd and they raised seven children. She enjoyed officiating girls’ sports at Oneida High School for many years. Jeannette founded the PE program at St. Patrick’s School, was president of the PTA, and a member of the Progress Club.
She was always patriotic and loved America. This led to her serving on the Oneida Common Council for two terms. She was the first female mayor of Oneida for one term in 1983 and the first female mayor from the Conservative Party in New York State.
Upon retiring, Mr. and Mrs. Kidd moved to Harrisonburg, Va. She was involved in the Wayland Women’s Club and was famously known for her golf ball collecting ‘business’ that contributed to a MVTC nursing scholarship. Jeannette was an avid reader, bridge player, member of the RMH Volunteer Auxiliary, and enjoyed time spent with her children and grandchildren.
While active in the community in many capacities, her family would say her legacy was more than that. Her life was punctuated with caring, kindness, and humility. She modeled great reserve and deep integrity. Her friends and family appreciated her candor.
In addition to her parents, Jeannette was predeceased by her husband of 58 years, Arthur W. Kidd; one sister, Doris Kinsella; two brothers, Donald and Howard Cunningham; and one son-in-law, David Follett. She is survived by son, Michael A. Kidd (Diane) of Williamsport, Md.; daughters, Jennifer Follett of Hamilton, N.Y., Jacqueline Oceanak of Cheyenne, Wyo., Kathleen Rivers (Scott) of Edinburg, Va., Kristine Long (Michael) of Grottoes, Va., Susan Kane of York, Pa., Margaret Edwards (Wes) of Virginia Beach, Va.; 19 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends Friday, Jan. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kyger Funeral Home in Harrisonburg. The funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Kyger Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Glen Bollinger and Dr. Leslie T. West officiating. A private entombment will follow at the Eastlawn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Harrisonburg.
Memorial gifts may be sent to Sunnyside Fellowship, 600 N University Blvd., Suite L, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or Wayland Woman’s Club of Rockingham, 311 Ohio Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801.
Condolences may be shared at www.kygers.com.