Elder L. Lionel Kendrick peacefully and fearlessly concluded his living example of unyielding faith and tender devotion to family the morning of August 22, 2022. He now valiantly begins the next verse of his eternal hymn.
Lionel was born September 19, 1931 as the only child of Bonnie Delen and Edna Forbes Kendrick in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He married Myrtis Noble August 16, 1952. Thus began their seventy-year journey together of loving devotion, selfless service, and joyful courtship. Their happy and devoted marriage blessed the lives of three sons and one daughter: Larry (Sherron) Kendrick, Jr., Hal (Julie) Kendrick, Dana (Shelley) Kendrick (predeceased), and Merri Ellen (Robert) Turner. Affectionately known as “Poppy”, he and “Grandma Myrt” are the grandparents of fourteen righteous grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchildren.
Raised on a farm, Lionel credits his parents with instilling in him a love for work, a love for education, and a love for his fellow man. Following the example of his parents, Lionel lived a life of integrity, goodness, and perseverance from an early age. He was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the age of twenty-three while serving in the United States Air Force.
From the time of his conversion, Lionel wholeheartedly embraced the path of discipleship. Consistently immersing himself in a study of the scriptures, he had an unwavering commitment to living the principles of the gospel. Many of his days were blessed by his focus on, and love for, family history. In 2018, he and Myrtis published their respective life histories, giving beautifully-bound copies to each of their children and grandchildren. These treasured volumes will influence their posterity for generations. One of Elder Kendrick’s choicest blessings was the privilege of performing the sealing of each of his married grandchildren. For Lionel, the highlight of every year was the Kendrick family reunion. It was there that cherished relationships were richly nurtured and strengthened through Lionel and Myrtis’ enduring spirit of love and family. Lionel often reflected in deep gratitude on the precious blessings of his eternal marriage. Happy to live in many different places and serve in many different capacities, he and Myrtis always found home in one another. Their meaningful and loving partnership will endure forever.
Elder Kendrick’s exemplary leadership and love for all people enriched many lives and will be greatly missed. Through his unceasing efforts in education, he earned B.S., M.S., and Ed. D degrees from Louisiana State University. As a professor and administrator at East Carolina University, he inspired countless young students for twenty years. In 1985, Lionel left the university to preside over the Florida Tampa Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved “his missionaries'' and was fervently devoted to instilling in them a pattern of service, compassion, and lifelong gospel learning. In 1988, Lionel was called to the First Quorum of Seventy, where he labored cheerfully for thirteen years. Serving together with his sweetheart, Myrtis, his assignments as a Seventy included President of the Dallas Temple as well as Area President in both the Philippines and Japan. After becoming an emeritus General Authority, he was called at age seventy-five to serve as Bishop of the Eighteenth North Ward in the Ensign Stake.
Lionel will be remembered as a humble and loyal man who valued his family and many friendships. His gentle kindness knew no constraint; his quiet wisdom enlightened all paths; his quick wit and charm eased all burdens; his abounding love warmed all hearts and lifted all spirits. As he embarks on the next chapter of his eternal journey, his memory will be upheld and cherished by all those whose lives he touched, until we meet again.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, August 29th at the Ensign Stake Center, 135 A Street, Salt Lake City, Utah. The visitation will be held on Sunday evening, August 28th at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E South Temple from 6-8 p.m. There will also be a visitation Monday morning, prior to the funeral, at the Ensign Stake Center from 10:00 -10:45 a.m. You may also watch the service via zoom with the following link:
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Life Story Info
Such a tender hearted, loving and compassionate man I have never had the pleasure of entering into my life. I' m am a better person as result. His blessings I received during a difficult time in life were the most beautiful and heartfelt I have ever known. Truly humble I can never express how beautiful and peaceful they were. To his Mert and family
May you know peace and love just as he tendered to others...
Thank you Bishop Kendrick for entering my life my memories are truly beautiful.