William “Bill” Everett Kendall, 86, died at his sacred place in Perry on Saturday, February 4, 2023, just as the sun was beginning to set and following his afternoon nap. He rose from his living room chair, suffered a cardiac arrest and fell onto the hearth in front of the woodstove. Bill died as he wished - quickly, not as a burden or in front of anyone, and at the farmhouse that has been in his family for five generations. Bill wanted everyone to know how he passed because he always missed reading these details in obituaries.
For the past few years, Bill had been summering at his Kingsbury home and wintering at the farm and loving every minute of his year-round return to Perry. He was content and comfortable and exactly where he wanted to be and doing exactly what he wanted to do - working every single day on the land where he was raised.
Bill was born on November 14, 1936 at St. Stephen Chipman Hospital, New Brunswick, Canada. He was the son of Everett Kendall and Leona Johnson Kendall of Perry. Bill lived his entire life in his beloved State of Maine – Perry, Orono, Bethel, Princeton, Calais, Auburn and then, finally, full circle, back to Perry, his childhood home.
Young Bill attended a two-room, brick elementary school in Perry, 4 years downstairs and 4 years up. A community man from the start, in the chill of winter Bill arrived early in the morning to start the fires for the teachers and his fellow students who were in 1st - 8th grade. In 1954, he graduated from Eastport Shead Memorial High School where he played baseball and basketball.
Following graduation, Bill joined the United States Air Force and trained as a weatherman. While stationed in Germany for three years during the Korean War, he enjoyed traveling to 11 European countries. Then, in 1963, with the help of the G.I. Bill, he graduated from the University of Maine with a B.S. in Forestry. He worked for P.H. Chadbourne Lumber, then joined Georgia-Pacific forestry department in 1965 and retired as a forest manager in 1996.
Bill was a quiet, local treasure full of common sense, stories and memories of Washington County. He graced this earth with wisdom and practical living and loved to share his knowledge of trees and simple living with others. He hated war, chaos, conflict, litter, crunching into an eggshell in anything, chocolate chip cookies, chicken and FOX News. He was a proponent of unconditional love, world peace, protecting our environment for future generations, and he had a very strong sense of community.
He was predeceased by his parents, Everett and Leona and his daughter’s mother, Barbara Tetrault Kendall.
He is survived in Perry by his daughter, Georgiana, his trusty sidekick on the farm and in his late life capers.
He is also survived by his west coast family, brother, Frank, wife, B.J. Kendall of Burlington, WA, their children, Rhonda and husband Bob Huddleston, Tracy and husband Jamie Miller and their four adult children, Brendon, Aileen, Kendra, and Larissa. Cousins galore he adored include Ellen Johnson and sisters, Bonnie and Dorothy, the wild Loring clan especially Boyden, Lorraine, his brother-in-law, Roger Tetrault and wife, Amy, and their children, Jaime, Erin and their families. Fun lakeside summer memories with the Eatons, the Leaches, the Marshalls, and the Owens. And good friends Ted and Virginia, Chuck, Dru, Noah, and deeply kind and caring neighbors. Plus many others who loved him so.
In lieu of flowers, there are many ways to honor Bill’s memory - by encouraging folks to stop littering the backroads of Perry, by taking the time to pick up trash there, by giving someone who needs a hand splitting wood or shoveling snow. Help those who are having a hard time with taxes and heat, and work to protect our lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans. Or make a donation to the Town of Perry Fuel Fund, PO Box 430, 898 US Route 1, Perry, Maine 04667. And finally, please hug your tree before you harvest it to heat your home.
A graveside service at the Golding Cemetery on the Golding Road in Perry is planned for Saturday, May 20, 2023, at 2:00PM. Please bring a leaf or a small branch of your favorite tree to toss on Bill's casket and plenty of bug repellent. The service will be followed by a celebration of Bill's life at his farmhouse across the street. Arrangements by Mays Funeral Home, Calais & Eastport.