DONALD FRANCIS KENDALL October 4, 2020
Donald Francis Kendall passed away peacefully in Los Alamos, New Mexico on October 4, 2020, before his 86th birthday. He was a devoted husband, loving father and grandfather. He and his 63-year-old wife, Frances, raised 5 children in the SF Bay Area, first in Oakland and then in Concord, CA.
In 2007, they moved from their decades-old Bay Area home to Los Alamos, NM, to retire and be near their oldest son, Gregory.
Donald was born the eldest and only son of Ellen and Donald Kendall Sr. in Ross, Calif., Marin County, Calif., near Sausalito, but grew up traveling along the Pacific Coast and beyond as he and his family worked as migrant farm workers picking crops and, at times, living on the beach in a tent with other Southern California families during a housing shortage.
He often spoke fondly of that time, reminiscing about the joys of having the Pacific Ocean as his childhood backyard and frolicking alongside “sea wolves” (as he called seals) in the Pacific Ocean. It was here that he first developed a love for the outdoors and camping, which he shared with his children. He, his parents, and his two younger sisters, Mary and Sylvia, lived in many other places along the California and Oregon coast, as well as in Colorado, Washington, and Michigan. He graduated from Santa Barbara Catholic High School in 1953.
Donald started working at the Woolworth Co. in 1952 at the age of 17 and was eventually promoted to associate store manager. He met his wife, Frances, while pricing goods at a competing drug store she worked at, Cornell’s, on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, NV. They married in 1957.
He was drafted into the Army in 1957, was sent to Army Information School in Long Island Sound where he performed in a few sketches with fellow military actor George Segal. He returned to work at Woolworth’s after serving 2 years in the peacetime army. He spent most of his career at the San Francisco Woolworth store at the corner of Market and Powell, where he was the candy buyer for the candy counter, as well as other departments. He has occasionally been interviewed for local and national candy trending news. He retired in 1997 after 44 years of loyal service.
He was a gentle man whose Catholic faith informed his life choices. He loved nothing more than spending time around the dinner table with his family, going to church on Sundays, working diligently in his beautiful yard with his wife, enjoying the fruits of his labor by the swimming pool and comforting himself in prayer and his faith, which served him well. throughout his life he worked for the Woolworth Corporation, chasing shoplifters down Market Street to recover stolen goods, and as he battled prostate cancer and then Alzheimer’s disease .
Donald will be remembered as someone who never boasted, bragged or complained, and always lived his life with gentle dignity, humility and a sense of humour.
He enjoyed many hobbies including camping, downhill skiing, water skiing, sailing, square dancing with the Oakland Square Dance Club, enjoyed working in the yard of his homes in Oakland and Concord, California, singing in the choir of the Saint-Bonaventure church in Concord. , California, and with the Los Alamos Lads of Enchantment. He also enjoyed traveling around the world, including a world tour of Europe, a tour of the British Isles, visiting Malaysia, Indonesia and a month in Singapore to visit his daughter, Monica, and her family, and a trip to Alaska to visit his daughter Barbara and her family. As well as numerous cruises to Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and beyond.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Frances (Long); son Gregory Kendall (of Los Alamos, NM) and wife Karen; his daughter Melissa Kendall (of Okinawa, Japan), his children Ryan Darfler, Kendall Toomey and Jenna Darfler; daughter Monica Goodstein (of Colorado Springs, CO) and husband David, children Rexford Goodstein, Francesca Goodstein and Sophie Goodstein, daughter Barbara Kendall (of San Francisco, CA) and children Leonardo Kendall and Julian Solovyov; and his daughter Suzanne Osborne (of San Francisco, CA) and her husband Matthew.
Predeceased by his parents and sisters Mary and Sylvia, Donald will be missed by many other friends and relatives who loved him dearly.
There will be a celebration of life as a small ash scattering ceremony will be held across the San Francisco Bay Area on Saturday, July 9 at 5:00 p.m. from the Blue Runner Boat at 350 Harbor Drive, Sausalito, CA. Later, some ashes will be scattered privately in Yosemite to be mixed with those of his wife.