This year the Rockford community, including the Squire, lost one of its greatest fans. Dave Kendall, who grew up in Rockford and graduated from Rockford High School in 1959, lived most of his adult life in and around Sydney, Australia, where he developed a very successful ministry to youth through music and humor. He was widely known there as a popular speaker and gospel singer. His CDs of original stand-up comedy routines and gospel music, some of which he composed himself, are still on the market (Google Dave Kendall, Australia, Frayed Edge Communication for more). He died suddenly of a stroke on January 4 during a full ministry career, leaving behind three grown daughters, his wife Donna and 11-year-old daughter Madison.
Dave’s Rockford friends remained special to him. To his Rockford High School classmates at their 45th reunion he wrote, “You have no idea how the memories of those formative years have been a source of delight and strength to me over the years.” He read The Rockford Squire online every week from Australia. His hometown held the same place in the hearts of many long-time Rockfordians, too. Some of them have planned a gathering to honor him, to which everyone is invited.
On Saturday, June 19 at 2 p.m., a memorial service for Dave Kendall will be held at Rockford Baptist Church, his second home as a teenager, where he was a member. The service will be informal, as accounts of Dave’s stories and jokes, his music, and above all, his intimate walk with God will be shared. Betty Wonders and Gracia Scholton will recreate some of his music, and Pastor Larry Rowland of Rockford Baptist Church will lead the service. Those who knew Dave will be blessed and comforted. Those who did not will be inspired by this glimpse into his life. All are invited to the service and the luncheon afterward.
Those desiring will have opportunity to contribute to a memorial gift for Dave’s widow Donna as she raised their daughter alone while working toward a teaching degree to better provide for her. Those unable to attend the service may send their gift to Marge Dickinson, 2510 Lake Michigan Drive NW, #A-205, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. Please make checks payable to Marge, with “David Kendall Memorial” on the memo line.
If you have photographs or memorabilia of Dave for display, please send them to Jean Parks, 3158 Maryland NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-3082. Put your name on them so she can return them to you.