Kendall, Sallie Diane Sparks 2/27/1924 – 4/26/2021 – Jackson, Michigan
Sallie Diane Sparks Kendall died April 26, 2021 in Kalkaska, Michigan, at the age of 97 years. She was born February 27, 1924 in Jackson, Michigan to Rachel Carter Sparks and Clifford Maurice Sparks, and was the granddaughter of Captain William and Matilda Sparks who built Cascades Falls and gave Cascades Park to Jackson. She survived her husband of 74 years, Robert Thrift Kendall, Jr. She is survived by three children: Elizabeth Kendall Reeve (Edward), Robert T. Kendall, III (LeeAnn), and Diane Kendall Berkshire (Daniel). She is also survived by seven grandchildren: E. Jonathan Reeve (Erin), Anna Reeve Gillette (Robert), Timothy K. Reeve; Robert T. Kendall IV (Brandi), Adam W. Kendall (Kate Leese), Emily Berkshire Tappan (Brian), Rachel Berkshire Kibbee (Andrew), and eight great-grandsons, Carter and Charles Gillette, Sawyer, Bridger and Finnley Tappan, Jack and Finn Reeve, and Guy Kibbee. Mrs. Kendall attended Jackson Schools where she met her husband Robert in grade school. She graduated from Jackson High School in June 1942, then attended Colby College and the University of Michigan. Prior to marrying, she worked at the original Walt Disney Studio in Burbank California. Upon being reunited with her fiancee, Robert T. Kendall, Jr., they were married in the First United Methodist Church of Jackson, Michigan on October 6, 1945. After her husband’s graduation from law school, the couple lived in Corvallis, Oregon and East Lansing, Michigan, then returned to Jackson where they resided except for a period when Mr. Kendall’s job took them to Birmingham. After Mr. Kendall’s retirement, the couple split their time between Jackson, Skegemog Pointe and winters in Florida. Mrs. Kendall was a member of the First United Methodist of Jackson since her youth. She volunteered often to help others in her church and community. She was a member of the TC club since high school and PEO for many years. She read voraciously and talked about current events until her last week. The most defining characteristic of our mother was her love for her family. One way that she expressed that love was by starting what we fondly call “Camp Kenlands” in 1983. For 37 years, our mother served as “Camp Director”, filling her grandchildren’s summer vacations at the lake with water sports, crafts, junior Olympics, skit nights, bonfires, and s’mores. Those grandchildren who started coming to Camp Kenlands as babies and toddlers, are now returning with their own children. Each year every camper received a camp memento, such as t-shirts, hats, or mugs to celebrate another year that we gathered with our extended family from all corners of the country. We are blessed that our parents created such a wonderful tradition that has strengthened and maintained our family ties, connecting four generations of family members. She loved her family intensely and sewed a quilt for each grandchild upon graduation from high school and knitted an elaborate Christmas stocking for almost every member. She was the penultimate mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and we will love her forever and always. Her children were with her for the last week and were with her at the end. She left this world as peacefully and gracefully as she lived. The family wishes to thank the many nurses and staff at Hospice of Michigan, and in particular Danielle Rathbun for their compassionate care. A memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 275 W. Michigan Ave, Jackson, MI 49201 on Monday, May 10, 2021 starting at 10:30 A.M. Reverend Tonya Arnesen officiating. A private burial service will be held at the family plot in Woodland Cemetery, Jackson, Michigan, with Watson Funeral Chapel serving the family. There will also be a family memorial service this summer at the 38th annual Camp Kenlands on Skegemog Point. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the First United Methodist Church, Cascades Foundation, Ella Sharp Museum, or Hospice of Michigan.
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First United Methodist Church
275 W. Michigan Avenue, Jackson MI 49201
1528 Kibby Road, Jackson MI 49203
Ella Sharp Museum
3225 4th Street, Jackson MI 49203