Joyce Terrell Kenna, 97

Joyce Terrell Kenna, age 97, died peacefully Thursday, June 23, 2022, at NHC Healthcare Oak Ridge. Mrs. Kenna was born in Lawrence County, MS on January 25, 1925, to Marshall Lee Terrell & Mary Mildred (Gunnell) Terrell. Following her mother’s sudden death at age 31, Mrs. Kenna was raised by her Aunt Frances Idella (Terrell) Godbold & Uncle Charles Beam Godbold, in Summit, MS.

Mrs. Kenna was a 1943 graduate of Summit High School. Following graduation, she attended Draughn’s Business School in Jackson, MS. As part of the war effort, she moved to Washington, DC, and secured a secretarial position with the Pentagon until the end of World War II. On April 21, 1946, she married William Burris Kenna at the United Methodist Church in Summit, MS.

In 1946, the newlyweds moved to Clinton, MS where Mr. Kenna attended Mississippi College. In 1948, they moved to Oak Ridge, TN after Mr. Kenna accepted a position at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion K-25 Plant. In 1952, the Kennas briefly moved to Cleveland, OH, and then to Birmingham, AL before moving back to Oak Ridge in 1957. In 1972, the family moved to Atlanta, GA where Mr. Kenna worked with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission until his retirement in 1981. The Kennas then moved back to Oak Ridge where they lived their remaining years. Over time, the couple had four sons who Mrs. Kenna devoted her time to taking care of them at home.

Mrs. Kenna was an avid sports fan, especially UT Vols Football and Lady Vols Basketball. She was a long-time member of Kern Memorial United Methodist Church and very active with the “Gray Ladies”, a hospital volunteer organization, at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. Once she moved to Atlanta, she took the role of director with the “Gray Ladies” at Dekalb General Hospital. Mrs. Kenna was very social and enjoyed traveling with family and friends, both internationally and domestically, by airplane, bus, or camper. She also belonged to many social clubs in Oak Ridge as well as hosted bridge parties and participated in bowling leagues.

Mrs. Kenna was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, William “Bill” Burris Kenna, Sr., and son, Dennis Terrell Kenna of Knoxville, TN.

Survivors include sons, William Burris Kenna, Jr. and his wife, Cheryl, of Alpharetta, GA, Marshall Lee Kenna of Oak Ridge, TN, and John Francis Kenna of Nashville, TN; three grandchildren, Kristin Kenna Brinker and her husband, Mike, of Milton, GA, Dr. William “Trey” Burris Kenna, III and his wife, Courtney, of Greenville, SC, Fenton Joaquin Kenna of Nashville, TN; and seven great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Kern Memorial United Methodist Church, 451 Tennessee Ave, Oak Ridge, TN 37830,

The family will receive friends 5-7 pm Friday, July 1, 2022, at Weatherford Mortuary. Funeral services will be held at 11 am Saturday, July 2, 2022, at Weatherford Mortuary with Rev. Will Conner officiating. Interment will follow at 12 pm at Oak Ridge Memorial Park. An online guestbook is available at

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

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