In Memory of





Obituary for Kennedy Dawn Victoria Gehl

Kennedy Dawn Victoria Gehl
December 13, 1984 – March 30, 2024

Well there Warrior Frodo, we say farewell to you. Although you left us physically you will forever live on in our hearts, minds, and memories. I don’t think any of us will ever forget your animated and expressive laugh, nor do we ever want to and if we all close our eyes we can still picture you giving us that trademark Ned finger. I hope God is ready for you, or that he at least knows what he is getting himself into.

Kennedy Dawn Victoria Gehl (nee Bernst) was born in Thunder Bay to Cami Copp (nee Jewell) and Arthur Bernst, December 13, 1984. Kennedy has always had a tenacious and no BS attitude. She often told it like it was and she said it loud enough for the people in the back. She truly marched to the beat of her own drum and she gave ZERO EFFs if you didn’t agree with her. That is what made her so beautiful and magical to be around. Although she was full of sass and laughs she also had the kindest most generous nature you could encounter. She would give you the shirt off her back and buy you another one just so you had two, even if she had none. And boy, could she light up in a room.

The kind of person she was, is exactly why Shawn fell in love with her. Kennedy and Shawn began dating in 2006 and were married Halloween of 2007. Together they had 4 beautiful children Lyric, Emma, Tristan, and Harleigh which became the centre of Kennedy’s being and universe. Kennedy was a lot of things to a lot of people: daughter, sista, wife, auntie, cousin, niece, granddaughter, friend, but the role she cherished most was mother to her children. She was fiercely protective of them while also allowing them to live and learn through their own experiences.

Kennedy touched a lot of people’s lives. Not only was she an amazing mother, wife, and family member, she was also the best friend, shoulder to cry on, and ear to listen for so many other people. She created a beautiful strong network of unbiological sistas in Nipigon, Thunder Bay, Niagara, and everywhere else she lived or visited. She was THE go-to for a lot of people because she truly cared and listened with her whole heart. She loved her people (blood or not) with every ounce of her being and it felt so good to be in her presence.

Kennedy is Survived by her husband Shawn Gehl, her daughters Lyric, Emma, and Harleigh Gehl, her Grandmother Judy Bertin (Ron), sista Roberta Penner (Robbie), sista Kaila Copp, step father Fred Copp, mother-in-law Doreen Johnson, Sister-in-law Cagney Blanchette, brother-in-law Phil Wawia, brother-in-law Kevin Johnson (Ami), her sista-in-law Tanya Forneri (Jeff), numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and other extended relatives from both her and Shawn’s family. Kennedy is also survived by her network of unbiological sistas Heather, Kari, Randi, Rena, and Ness (and the insurmountable amount of friends we just don’t have room to name) who she loved just like family.

Kennedy is predeceased by her son Tristan Gehl, mother Cami Copp, father Arthur Bernst, brother Bradley Penner, and sister Sheliegha Penner.

Kennedy’s Family and Friends would like to extend their utmost gratitude to the I.C.U. Dream Team at the TBRHSC who cared for Ned in her final days. The love, compassion, care, dignity, patience, and support that was provided not only to Kennedy but to her family and friends was absolutely unparalleled.

Cremation Services took place Friday, April 5, 2024, and a celebration of life will be held in Kennedy’s honour Sunday, April 21st at the Moose Hall at 434 Ft. William Rd. Thunder Bay, ON from 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM.
In Lieu of flowers, if you could kindly donate to the Go Fund Me Account that was set up to provide support for Shawn and the Girls or if you could donate to a charitable organization which funds Epilepsy research. Kennedy’s family was her primary love and kicking Epilepsy’s ass was her primary goal so those 2 things are what she would want people to support.