Cover photo for Skip Kendall's Obituary
Skip Kendall Profile Photo
1937 Forrest Kendall 2024

Skip Kendall

May 29, 1937 — April 23, 2024

Pairie Village

Skip Kendall lived an extraordinary life.  He was born in small town Holton, Kansas to Forrest Hardy Kendall and Grace Editha Reed.  Forrest was the town doctor and everyone called him Doc.  Doc and Editha named their first-born Forrest Hardy Kendall, Jr.   But everyone called him Skip.  

Skip’s achievements include being president of his class at Holton High School, Eagle Scout, president of the Sigma Chi fraternity at the University of Kansas, obtaining a medical degree from the University of Kansas, serving as a captain in the United States Air Force, a Flight Surgeon on Air Force One, and running a successful medical practice as an ear, nose and throat physician for decades. 

Skip was tall – 6’2” – and loved to tell the story about legendary basketball coach Phog Allen.  Phog was not only the basketball coach at the University of Kansas, he was also a physician and was friends with Doc Kendall.  No one realized it at the time but Skip had grown to his full height when he was in 6th grade and at that time Coach Allen, assuming Skip would grow much taller, told Skip he wanted him to play basketball for him at KU. Skip was a good high school basketball player so he tried to walk on to the KU basketball team.  As soon as he saw KU’s freshman center Wilt Chamberlain, Skip knew his basketball days were over.

As impressive as Skip’s achievements were, he outdid them by being a devoted husband and father. Skip married his high school sweetheart Nancy Kay Gilliland in 1959.  Together they raised three boys and had a good life.  They traveled around the world and Skip even got Nancy to start playing golf. After Skip retired, they spent winters in Tucson, Arizona. They loved animals and had cats and dogs throughout their life together.   Two of their cats lived to be very old and got diabetes and instead of euthanizing them, Skip gave them daily insulin injections and both cats lived into their early 20’s. 

Skip took fatherhood seriously.  He coached his sons in baseball and basketball.  He attended every school and sporting event any of them had. He took them on float trips, ski trips, hunting and fishing trips and took his entire extended family fishing in Canada twice.  Skip was always there for his boys and also for his daughters in law. And Skip really loved his grandchildren.

Skip was devoted to Nancy and cared for her after she was afflicted by Alzheimer’s and passed away in 2014.  Skip was devastated by Nancy’s loss and his family did what they could to help him through that time.  A few years after Nancy died, Skip found companionship in Tucson with Stormi Campbell, who had suffered loss herself.  Stormi helped Skip out of his despair and they had a wonderful relationship that endured even after Skip got too old to winter in Tucson.   They talked on the phone up until Skip’s last days.

Skip is survived by his three sons, Forrest H. (Trey) Kendall III (Cindy) of Houston, Texas, Bradford C. Kendall (Kelly) of Prairie Village, Kansas, Christopher B. Kendall (Ellen) of Northbrook, Illinois, seven grandchildren, Lauren Barker (Will) of Sugar Land, Texas, Ryan Kendall of Overland Park, Kansas, Grant, Brooks and Lucy Kendall of Prairie Village, Kansas, Charlie and Cody Kendall of Winnetka, Illinois, and three great grand children, Kendall and Hazel Barker of Sugar Land, Texas and Easton Kendall of Overland Park, Kansas, and by sister Patricia Kendall Woodward.

Years before he died, Skip took care of everything associated with his death and he even wrote some notes for his proposed obituary.  His notes included this line: “He will be missed on the golf course, the duck blind and the pheasant land.”  Skip was a modest man and he will be missed so much more than that. He was beloved by his family, by those who worked with him at various hospitals, by his friends he golfed and fished with. Skip was loyal to his friends and when family members of friends were ill, some terminally, Skip went out of his way to help, to give advice and to console them. Skip was funny and he was a fantastic joke teller.  Many friends of his sons still laugh about Skip’s jokes. He was one of a kind and they don’t make them like Skip Kendall any more.

            Skip died on April 23, 2024, surrounded by his family. Skip’s family is heartbroken but it was his time to go.  A celebration of Skip’s amazing life will be held at the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, Kansas on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, Skip would prefer a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or Ascend Hospice.

            

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Skip Kendall, please visit our flower store.

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 4, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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