Michael “Sean” Kennedy, 36, died March 5 in Phoenix after a long battle with cancer.
Sean was born Oct. 7, 1967, in Montrose and attended school in Nucla and Basalt, graduating from Basalt High in 1986.
Sean attended Colorado State University for two years, leaving to accept a scholarship to work and study his first love, thoroughbred horses, at the Irish National Stud in County Kildare in Ireland.
He spent six months in Ireland and returned to become a fourth-generation race tracker as assistant to his uncle, Doug Oliver. He held this position for 14 years and enjoyed many experiences while traveling with his horses.
Sean traveled extensively through the years with several horses. The highlights of these experiences was going to the 1994 Breeders Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs with Honor the Hero, then traveling air cargo with the “Hero” to Japan for the Sprint Stakes at Nokyama Race Course in Tokyo. Sean enjoyed all types of sporting events, woodworking and spending time with family and friends. He was always available for his friends regardless of how hectic his day was. All who knew him admired his attention to detail on and off the racetrack.
He is survived by his mother, Phyllis Kennedy of Basalt; father, Michael Kennedy, Nevada; sister, Tracy and brother-in-law Paul Galle, Phoenix; maternal grandmother Viola Oliver, Norwood, Colo.; uncles Lyle Oliver of Silt, Doug Oliver of Phoenix, Tom Oliver of Norwood and Lynne Howard of Denver. Sean was preceded in death by grandfathers Stan Oliver and Claude Kennedy and paternal grandmother Lorene Kennedy. Memorial services were held Friday at Arbaney Park in Basalt. In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a memorial fund; contributions may be sent to Sean Kennedy Memorial Fund, 1900 Willits Lane, Basalt, CO 81621.
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