Delmar Eugene Kendrick was born in Tillamook, Ore., on Dec. 19, 1924, to Clifford and Maude Kendrick. Born into a groceryman family, they moved around the northwest several times, but always returning to The Dalles, Ore., where Del graduated from high school in 1943.
Having a passion for airplanes his entire life, Del joined the Navy upon graduation, entering into the flight program during WWII. He was a pilot and an airplane mechanic during his military service and his personal life. He proudly served America in WWII, the Korean War, and in the reserves.
An injury to his hand while working as an airplane mechanic ended up being a "small price to pay" as he met the love of his life who was his "cute little nurse" while in the hospital. Del and Louise married on May 15, 1950, and have set an example for many around them as a model of enduring love and commitment.
Due to a paperwork error, Del had a sudden shift in his career path, leaving the military and returning to the grocery business. Owning and operating a grocery store in The Dalles, and later in Lyle, Wash. It became he and his families primary focus for many years. The business grew, ultimately expanding into a brand-new build of a Sentry Market in Lyle. In 1979 he sold the grocery store, becoming semi-retired, later working for Hood River High School for 12 years, sharing his mechanical and carpentry skills as a shop teacher assistant.
Del never lost his deep love of flying and since he was gifted in mechanical skills and knowledge, he set about on an incredible journey of building his own plane (from a starter kit) during his free time. This "labor of love," affectionately called "The Other Woman," was a 12 year project! Del enjoyed flying the skies and attending "fly-ins" and various gatherings with other pilots to share stories and admire planes.
Del had a deep passion and love for the Lord Jesus Christ. For many years he served local congregations as a Sunday School Teacher, Board or Session member, and by sharing his wonderful tenor voice through choirs or special music.
Del was a dedicated and loving father to their four children, Delese, Kit, Sue and Mark. He was a gentle-spirited man who was known to give wise and practical counsel and guidance. He was also a loving and inspiring grandfather to Jacob, Nathan, David, Jeff, Kable, Katie, Kyle, Courtney, Sarah, Christie, and Bennie. In addition, he was called "Grandpa" by many Lyle High School students over the years for his warm and caring interactions with them as he generously welcomed them into their home, which bordered the campus.
After a long battle with dementia, Delmar died on Feb. 23, 2019, with his loving wife at his side, and surrounded by family. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother Leo Carlisle Kendrick. He is survived by his younger sister Carmen, his children, grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and his wife of over 68 years, Louise.
Delmar Kendrick's life of love and devotion to family, mankind, and God has been a model for all those who had the privilege of knowing him.
A memorial service has been scheduled for Saturday March 23, 2019, 2 p.m. at Gateway Church in The Dalles.