Phoebe lived life to its fullest until its end on Monday, September 2, 2013, when she succumbed to bone marrow cancer at the age of 92. She was an accomplished artist especially with water colors, an enthusiastic tennis player at the Carriage Club, a sailor on Lake Quivira and the Great Lakes, an intrepid world traveler, and, late in life, a student of piano.
Phoebe was born October 15, 1920 in Sedalia, MO., to Arthur Tearle, a recent immigrant from England, and Mary Louise Nunnelly Tearle. She had an older sister, Frances Marie, who died in 1970. The family moved to Boonville, MO, where Phoebe grew up and completed high school. After her father's death , Phoebe and her mother moved to Kansas City, where Phoebe attended the Edna Marie Dunn School of Fashion and Design and became a fashion artist for Emery Bird Thayer & Co. She later became a reservations agent for TWA where she worked until retirement.
In 1946, she married Marshall Sanger Kennedy, a co-worker at TWA, and they lived at Lake Quivira, Youngstown, NY, and Jacksonville, FLA, until his death in 1967. They had two daughters, Laura Shepardson Kennedy, who died in 2002, and Kristin Kennedy Bowen of Kansas City, who survives. Phoebe is also survived by two grandsons, Andrew Kennedy Olive and Marshall Thibodaux Bowen, and a granddaughter, Marguerite Louise Bowen.
After the death of Marshall Kennedy, Phoebe moved back to Kansas City, where in November, 1969, she married attorney Arthur C. Popham, Jr. Arthur had two daughters and a son, Arthur C. Popham III, who died in 2002, Carole P. McKnight and Melinda P. Benton who survive. Phoebe and Art traveled extensively around the United States and Europe and to the Middle East, and annually to England for the grouse hunting season. She also volunteered for many years as a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Arthur Popham died in September, 2009.
A memorial service for Phoebe Kennedy Popham will be held at Prairie Village Presbyterian Church at 6641 Mission Road at 2:00 on Friday, September 6. A reception for friends and family to follow at Claridge Court, 8101 Mission Road, Prairie village, KS. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Pkwy, Kansas City, KS 66104.