Obituary: The Rev. Kendall, 74, ministered to prisoners

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Obituary: The Rev. Kendall, 74, ministered to prisoners

Mass set for Monday

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MARY BUSTAMANTE
Tucson Citizen
 
The Rev. Mike Kendall, a Salvatorian priest for 47 years who helped begin the Jordan Ministry Team in Tucson, has died. He was 74.
 
A memorial Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at Most Holy Trinity Parish, 1300 N. Greasewood Road, where the Rev. Kendall helped with Masses since 2001.
 
The Rev. Kendall died unexpectedly July 5, two weeks short of his 75th birthday. He moved to Florence in 2004, where he ministered to inmates in the state prison system.
 
It was a fitting and affirming ministry to end his life on, said the Rev. Bill Remmel, another Salvatorian, and pastor of Most Holy Trinity.
 
"He especially loved his ministry with the prisoners," Remmel said. "He talked endlessly about the needs of those prisoners. He loved his work and he did such good work."
 
The Rev. Kendall's prison ministry was the last in a long line of ministries for the man who was known for his teaching skills, his sense of humor and his sharp wit.
 
In his early years as a Salvatorian priest in Wisconsin, the Rev. Kendall's ministry was in the high school classroom, where fellow instructors said he had a gift for teaching history.
 
In the 1970s, he was drawn to the ministry of spiritual care of the sick and dying, spending several years as chaplain and director of the clinical pastoral education program at Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wis.
 
Later, in California, he combined ministry to the sick with parish ministry, and also did campus ministry at St. Mary's College.
 
He was a hospital chaplain in Fresno, Calif., from 1988 to 2004 and also director of chaplaincy services there.
 
The Rev. Kendall, along with other Salvatorians, began Jordan Ministry Team in Tucson to provide essential educational services for people throughout the Diocese of Tucson, traveling great distances to bring programs and seminars to adult leaders in the church, his colleagues said.
 
He was preceded in death by his parents John and Mildred (Sipley) Kendall, and nephew, Charles Zylkowski. He is survived by his two sisters, Judith Zylkowski and Gail Kendall; his brothers-in-law, Jerry Zylkowski and Kent Miller; nieces and nephews, Michael Zylkowski, Steve Zylkowski, Gail Zylkowski Merth, Anne Zylkowski and Helen Miller; great-niece and nephews, Nick and Dan Zylkowski and Allison, Thomas and Charles Merth, as well as many brothers and sisters in the Salvatorian family.

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