Robert Kendig of Porters Neck died at his home on June 19, 2012.
He was born in Augusta County, Virginia, on August 23, 1918, the only child of Susanna and Robert Kendig. His father, a victim of the world wide influenza epidemic died six weeks later.
Mr. Kendig received his undergraduate education at the College of William & Mary, and later completed his graduate studies at George Washington University.
He volunteered for aviation training in the Army Air Force in the summer of 1941. He spent the early part of World War II in anti-submarine warfare transferring later to the Eighth Air Force where he completed his tour in heavy bombardment. Immediately after the war, he served in England for two years.Following his return to the United States, he served a tour at the Pentagon and then in the Air Training Command where he was in command of all radio and electronics training for the Air Force. In 1949, he was the first Air Force commander to desegregate his command of over 10, 000 troops, an action that was commended by President Harry Truman. He completed his military service as a Wing Commander and retired in 1962. He then moved to Maryland, where he was employed by the University of Maryland as director of planning for the university system and served in this position until retiring in 1982.
Always interested in construction of the Washington National Cathedral, he volunteered as an assistant to the late Canon Richard T. Feller, the Clerk of the Works at the cathedral. He accomplished a number of tasks related to the planning archives, as well as to assisting Canon Feller with some of the day to day tasks associated with the final construction of the West Towers. On his retirement from the cathedral, he authored an anecdotal history of the building of the cathedral, This Bible in Stone, that served as required reading for cathedral docents and is still for sale in the cathedral gift shop.
In the fall of 1990, less than a year after the "Velvet Revolution," in Czechoslovakia, he was invited to go to that country to help with the transition from forty years of communist rule to an open democratic society. He offered a series of seminars on democracy to both the faculty and senior students at Kominious University in Bratislava and at Charles University in Prague.
He relocated to Wilmington in 1996, after living for 43 years in the Washington, DC, area.
He was predeceased by his daughter Karen Kendig Doubek in 2009. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jeanne F. Kendig of the home, and his daughter, Margee, her husband, T. Tilghman Herring, of Wilmington, and three grandchildren, James Doubek and Joseph Doubek of Washington, DC, and Lily Herring of Wilmington.
A funeral will be held at St. Andrew's On-the-Sound, 101 Airlie Road, Wilmington, NC, 28403, on Saturday, June 23, at 11:00 AM.
Source Citation: Andrews Mortuary, Wilmington, N.C.
Mabel Esther Newburn
1910–2004 (m. 1942)
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