SEARLES, Rena Abigail Kennedy passed away July 3, 2013 in Spokane, Washington and will come home to Belmont County to be at rest.
Gail was born on February 8, 1947 in Painesville, Ohio to James E. and Theda Kirk Kennedy. Her ancestors have been in Belmont and surrounding counties continuously for over 200 years.
She graduated from the Andrews School for Girls in Willoughby, Ohio and The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, earning a Bachelor of Science in Education. Commissioned an officer in the United States Air Force, she achieved the rank of Captain while serving in Cape Cod, occupied Berlin, and eastern Washington.
In 1976, she married DeWitt Richard Searles III, who survives her. Upon completing her military service, she earned a Master of Education from Eastern Washington University and taught English in Spokane, Washington for 30 years.
Researching her Ohio ancestry was Gail's great purpose for many years. Whoever is related to her will find themselves descended from as many as 14 Revolutionary War patriots, the earliest American colonists, a soldier of Washington's Army at Valley Forge, the First Families of Belmont County, and veterans of the War of 1812 and the Civil War.
A monument in Ebenezer Cemetery, Bethesda, shows the 28 Ohio pioneer families that were the subjects of her research.
Gail is also survived by her brother, Kirk James Kennedy of Cleveland, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the genealogical research room at one of these public libraries: Barnesville Hutton Memorial Library, 308 E. Main Street, Barnesville, Ohio 43713; Bethesda Branch Library, 107 N. Main Street, Bethesda, Ohio 43719; St. Clairsville Public Library, 108 W. Main Street, St. Clairsville, Ohio 43950.
Arrangements entrusted to: Kelly Kemp Braido & Patron Funeral Home, 322 N. Main Street, Bethesda, Ohio 43719.
Online condolences may be sent to: www. kellykempbraido&patron funeralhome.com.