Richard Kennedy

Richard Kennedy

Doing his part to help others is what Richard Kennedy will miss the most as he puts his loan forms to the side and moves into retirement.

Kennedy has focused much of his energy in recent years at helping other people, either as a longtime Pauls Valley banker, a member of the local city council and even as mayor.

His work has touched the lives of plenty of people through things like much needed loans or decisions that helped shape the direction of PV's city government.

Now it's time for those efforts to go toward other things as Kennedy, now 65 years old, is retiring after many years with the local First United Bank.

“Retirement is a mixed blessing,” Kennedy said during a recent visit with the PV Democrat.

“You look forward to what you're going to do, but at the same time you're really going to miss what you're doing,” he said.

“The thing I've enjoyed about banking is the opportunity to help people. That's where the job satisfaction come from.

“Helping people buy houses — I love to do this. Just helping people — that's what I will miss the most.”

It was back in 1973 when Kennedy and his wife Elaine, the former principal at the local Jackson Elementary School, decided to move their family to Pauls Valley.

At first his lending work was with Pratt Mortgage Company and then in 1985 for First National Bank of PV, which merged in 1996 with First United Bank and Trust Company. He has for the last several years served as a branch vice president.

During that time Kennedy served on the Pauls Valley City Council for 11 years with six spent as PV's mayor.

He first decided to serve on the council because he “wanted to be involved and contribute.”

“It was a very satisfying experience for me to do that,” he said. “I feel like everyone in the community can contribute to the best of their ability.

“I look back on my time on the council and there are some things we accomplished.”

According to Kennedy, the experience was made even better because the council was for the most part a “unified effort.”

“You have to give credit to anyone serving on a city council or any other type of board,” he said. “They're doing the best they can do to help their community.

“I learned there's always an issue to deal with and there will always be a need for people to take the time to deal with those issues.”

The reflection leads Kennedy to believe his work in the bank and on the council are pretty similar in a way.

“It's hard separating my work in banking with my time on the city council,” Kennedy said.

“To me it kind of goes together. I've always felt the two were a lot a like. Both touched a lot of lives and the community in a positive way.

“I'm retiring but I still want to be productive.”

His efforts also led to him being named the local chamber’s citizen of the year back in 2002.

As for this newfound retirement years, Kennedy and his wife plan to continue living in Pauls Valley, especially since it makes sense when it comes to their three children and seven grandchildren.

“She was looking forward to when I retire so we can spend some time with the grandkids,” he said, referring to Elaine.

“Pauls Valley is a perfect place for us because it's about halfway between our kids.”

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