Norman Roderick Kendall

Norman Roderick Kendall

EAST BERNE — Norman Roderick Kendall, described by his family as a hardworking man with a huge heart, died on Wednesday, April 11, 2016, in Auburn, California where he had lived. He was 57.

“Norm had an insatiable desire to help everybody and wasn’t afraid to dream big,” his family wrote in a tribute.

He was born on May 14, 1958 in East Berne to Frederick and Gwenith Kendall. He and his four sisters were raised on a dairy farm on Warners Lake Road.

“Norm never had a childhood as he was always treated like a man and expected to work like a man from a very young age,” his family wrote. “He knew how to maneuver any piece of farm machinery with great precision. He grew up hunting deer, milking cows, bailing hay, and doing the entire seasonal work that farm life entails.”

After he graduated from Berne-Knox High School in 1976, he moved to Alameda, California and then moved to Auburn the following year. He lived with his Aunt Lorraine and Uncle Linward for many years and worked on the surveying crew for Kendall Engineering.

“He excelled in everything he did; he loved calling them ‘Mom and Dad’ and got the real-estate bug from his uncle,” the tribute said. “He loved being a part of his new family.”

In the summer of 1980, Mr. Kendall was in a motorcycle accident and lost his left leg. He recovered and found new life working for Hewlett Packard after earning his bachelor of arts degree from Sacramento State, then went on to become a real estate agent. “He loved helping people and being active in his community,” his family wrote. In 1994, he earned a black belt in karate, which his family termed “an unprecedented feat.”

In 1998, Mr. Kendall fell and fractured his lumbar spine. “This affected him for the rest of his life, with chronic pain,” his family wrote.

“Norm’s positive can-do-anything attitude was infectious and filled up a room with his enthusiasm when he walked in,” his family wrote. “He had a booming voice that loved to tease, sing, laugh and shout orders.”

He sang and traveled with different barbershop quartets; was a past president of the Lions Club; past president of the Auburn Amputee Group, PIR. “He wore many hats, always wanting to serve others,” his family wrote.

First and foremost, his family wrote, “He loved helping people...he loved family and friends and his cat, Chester. He loved  singing, hosting Thanksgiving, motorcycles, working with heavy equipment, hunting, motorcycles, guns, his property and camping out. He was fiercely loyal and loved without limits.”


Norman Roderick Kendall is survived by his children, Brandon and Michelle; his granddaughter, Kiera, and her mother, Emily Livingston; and his three sisters, Susan Schanz and her husband, Duncan, Dawn Oishi and her husband, Steve, and Deborah Marroquin and brother-in-law Gary Smith. “He leaves behind his dedicated, kind, and loyal friend Paula Mosqueda,” his family wrote. “He leaves behind many fond nieces and nephews and cousins and very special aunts.” His parents, Frederick and Gwenith Kendall, died before him, as did his sister Wendy Smith.

A celebration-of-life ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 22, at 1 p.m. at the Canyon View Community Center at 471 Maidu Drive in Auburn.

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