Karlin Kay Kendall
1935 - 2011
Karlin (Booger) Kay Kendall was born Sept 14, 1935 to Mrs. Bessie Kendall of Ingalls, Kan. He died Dec. 9, 2011.
Mr. Kendall was next to the youngest in a family of six, three brothers and two sisters. His mother moved her family during the Dust Bowl era to Washington in 1937, where Mr. Kendall graduated high school. While in Washington he worked for the Forest Service surveying and planting trees on Mount St. Helens. While caring for his mother, they moved to Ajo, Ariz. in 1953, hoping for a job at the Phelps Dodge mine.
As a young child he lost the sight of an eye from a rock-throwing incident, which prevented employment at the mine, yet the company hired him to load trucks at the Company Store, where he later became an assistant manager. While in Ajo he also drove a truck delivering dairy products to stores and mail to Phoenix for Malin Lewis. During this time he married Grace Ann Fitzhugh, the daughter of Monte and Blanche Fitzhugh, all three of which he loved.
After two children, the Kendalls relocated to Santa Ana, Calif., solely relying on the word of a friend promising a job within one to two years at the Long Beach Naval Shipyard. In the meantime he worked at Cherry Rivet in Santa Ana. Getting hired at the shipyard was only possible by passing the eye exam, something that had hindered him since childhood. By not being required to test each eye individually, he was hired as a marine machinist for the civil service. After a short time, he became a member of the Hot Shot team during the time nuclear warships were being introduced into the Navy. His career ended when an apprentice created a workplace accident that rendered Booger disabled from most everything except his guitar. While living in Southern California he underwent the first cornea transplant in California history, though unfortunately it was unsuccessful.
While he lived in Ajo, he was part of a country music band that would occasionally travel to Christopher Creek and play music at the Landmark. This is how he became aware of the Rim Country and eventually moved his family to Payson in 1981. Booger was well known throughout the Rim Country for his tremendous talent as a lead guitarist. He also donated his musical ability at an incalculable number of benefits to help those in troubled times.
Booger lived with Alzheimer’s and dementia for many years prior to diagnosis, hence the disease went untreated for many years. His strong will allowed him the ability to remain joyful and loving to the best of his ability until his final day. Booger passed at home surrounded by his loved ones.
He is survived by his brother, Kenneth Kendall of Bisbee; a sister, Viola Anderson of Topler Bluff, Mo.; his wife of 51 years, Grace Ann Kendall; two daughters, Karla Kendall of Scottsdale and Kelsie Kendall of Glendale; and four sons, Wyman Kendall of Payson, Brad Kendall of Las Vegas, Nev., Thomas Serafin of Tustin, Calif. and Dylan Kendall-Gundry of Scottsdale. He was the grandfather to Jessica Kendall, Ryan Kendall, Sierra Clay and Karli Kendall. He was a great-grandfather to Ecko Kendall, Josef and Izabella Clay.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Bessie Coleman; two brothers, Kyle Fouts and Keiford Kendall; along with a sister, Claudine Rayburn.
As his family members and friends would attest — if you were among the unfortunate that did not have the opportunity to have known Booger, you missed knowing a loving husband, a tremendous father, and loyal friend. He is greatly missed though there is peace knowing he is no longer suffering.
There are no services currently planned, although a Celebration of Life gathering is planned to be held in the near future.