Jerry Frank Kendrick, 86, of Idabel, passed away peacefully on April 26, 2013 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Jerry was born in Glenwood, Arkansas and lived his entire life in the McCurtain County area. He graduated from Broken Bow High School.
As a young man, he enlisted in the Navy and bravely served his country in World War II. He was filled with great pride to know that his youngest grandson marched in a Veterans Day parade carrying a large sign that read: “Honoring my grandfather, Jerry Frank Kendrick. World War II, Navy Seabees.”
Blessed with an engineering mind, Jerry had a long career as a journeyman electrician. He could fix anything. No matter what you asked him to do, he could build it.
Jerry was lovingly referred to by all as “Pa”. Forever calm and collected, he was a kind and gentle soul. Pa was always game for a social gathering and especially loved to dance. Always the flirt, Pa charmed his way into everyone’s heart. All the way to the end, Pa kept his nurses giggling.
He would talk to anyone and everyone. Pa would often visit his son, Bert May, in Utah. Inevitably, a week after he’d leave, missionaries from all types of churches would appear at the door declaring “Jerry said we could come back.”
He was a friend to all. If he ever secretly placed a gold or silver coin in your hand, you knew he liked you. He was thoughtful and generous.
In his eighties, Pa was known to subtly join groups of trick-or-treating children on Halloween. When asked if he’d received anything, he replied, “Oh yeah. Candy. And sometimes Hot Pockets.”
Pa loved to travel. He and his daughter-in-law, Marisa, got lost on every single road trip they ever took as Jerry was the trusty navigator. Together, they regularly missed exits, received speeding tickets, and ran tollbooths. His favorite wrong turn resulted in them ending up on top of a snow covered mountain in Utah.
Pa liked to share stories of his youth. As a young boy, he was responsible for chopping wood and credited it with making him strong. He also worked in a movie theater running the projector. As a result, he despised going to the movies for the rest of his life. He relayed the memory of his first sip of a soda, “It went straight up my nose. I didn’t like it.”
In a tender moment, he recalled secretly opening up a wrapped gift under the tree because he just couldn’t wait until Christmas and then carefully re-wrapping it so he wouldn’t get in trouble. This precious gift was a metal painted toy. It was the first store bought toy he had ever received and he was mesmerized by it.
As a teenager, Pa and his friends would tip outhouses with occupants inside and then scramble. He would laugh out loud when telling how one Halloween night while tipping they realized one friend was missing but eventually turned up asking them for help. While fleeing the scene, his friend had fallen in a hole where an outhouse had once been. When asked if he helped his friend, Pa laughed, “No way. He stunk. We told him to jump in the river and clean up.”
All in all, it was a life well lived and we are eternally grateful to have been a part of it.
Jerry was predeceased by his wife, Berta Sue, and his beloved daughter, Jone Kendrick.
He is survived by his sons, Bert May Kendrick, Kelly Grigsby, Troy Grigsby, and Neal Grigsby. Jerry loved his boys and was immensely proud of each of them. He is survived by his grandchildren, Berne Kendrick, Natalie May Kendrick, Drake Kendrick, Kathryn Redding, Natalie Little, Steven Grigsby and Beth Grigsby, all of whom he adored. Jerry is also survived by his brother, Kelly Kendrick, and his sisters, Rosalie Sandridge and Pat Harwell.
Services are private. The family would like to thank Good Shepherd Hospice and all of his nurses and caregivers, especially, DeWanda and Alberta.
Online condolences may be left under our guestbook page.