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LTC (Ret) John Laxton Kendrick, US Army

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LTC (Ret) John Laxton Kendrick, US Army, 65, of Carlisle, died Thursday, Oct, 24, 2013, in his home with loving family and friends by his side.

He was born April 21, 1948 in New York City. He was the son of the late COL (Ret) Lewis J. Kendrick, US Army and Volburg (Lee) Kendrick. His childhood was spent in Tenafly, NJ.  On May 23, 1962, John was certified as an Eagle Scout.  He was in the Tenafly High School Marching and Dance Bands.

John was a 1966 graduate of Tenafly High School, and a 1970 graduate of United States Military Academy, West Point, NY, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering. He held a Master of Science Degree in Education, and a Master of Science Degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California.  He was also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA and completed the Advanced Program in Organization Development & Human Resources Management, Columbia University.

In 11 years of active duty with the United States Army, he served as a platoon leader, company executive officer, Commandant, V Corps Alcohol and Drug Abuse Resident Rehabilitation Center, data control officer, company commander, operations officer, and an Organizational Effectiveness Staff Officer.  His military awards include the Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster.  He retired from the U.S. Army Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel.

After his active duty service, he served as the Organization Development Consultant for the U.S. Army Depot System Command for 15 years, retiring in September 1995.  During his years of service, he received several Commander’s Award for Civilian Service for outstanding contributions to the Army.  He also received numerous letters and certificates of commendation and appreciation from the Command’s clients.  He also served by invitation on the 1994 Department of the Army Panel of Examiners to review applications for the Federal Quality Institute “President’s Award for Quality.”

He served as an adjunct faculty member at Wilson College, Chambersburg, in the Business and Economics Department for seven years.  He served as an adjunct faculty member, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute for six years, teaching human behavior and management courses.

After his retirement from U.S. Army Depot System Command, he began his own consulting firm; J. D. Lake.  He provided services to several local businesses, Pennsylvania State Police, and Department of the Army. 

John was passionate about his volunteering efforts for Sertoma.  He was a member of Carlisle Area Sertoma and Carlisle Hearts-n-Hands Sertoma Clubs, serving on several committees during his years of membership.  He began the Carlisle Area Sertoma club involvement in “Operation Paperback”.  He facilitated the club in sending over 5,000 paperbacks to our troops overseas.  He served as the District Governor of the East Central Penn District in 2006-2007; serving a two year term and received two Distinguished District Governor awards during this time.  He was a Certified Trainer for Sertoma, Inc.  He conducted training seminars at both the Regional and International conference levels. He facilitated the chartering of the Carlisle Hearts-n-Hands club, served as ambassador to the chartering of the Middletown Hearts-n-Hands Sertoma Club and helped with the formation of the Mid-Penn Serteen Club that was sponsored by the West Shore Sertoma Club.  He was a volunteer coach at the annual Sertoma Fantasy Baseball camp.  He also facilitated the Carlisle Men’s Cancer Support Group.  He was proud to be a Sertoman.

He was a lay reader and chalice server at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Carlisle.  He also was a key player in forming the church’s softball team.

For several years he played in the Carlisle Recreation Center’s Over Forty Softball team.  He enjoyed playing golf with his family and friends.  He made a hole in one on February 25, 1978 at the Pleasant Hills Golf Club.

He ran the Marine Corp Marathon in October 1981; placing 4707 out of 6556 with a completion time of 4.03.24.

He was a fencer in high school and college.  He fenced in the Military Olympics in 1970 in Italy.  For several years, he fenced at the local and state levels; earning numerous medals from these events.

John loved music, learning about his Italian heritage, taking long walks, and watching his favorite teams – LA Dodgers, NY Mets, and NY Giants.  He always enjoyed reading on the beach while soaking up the sun.  Every summer he and the “kidlets” had a running competition as to which one had the darker tan.

In 2010, John and his wife, Debbie set off on John’s dream of living Italy and traveling throughout Europe.  They, along with their family pet, Holly, established many life-long friendships with their Italian neighbors, and completed several adventures to other European countries.  Many family members and friends were able to visit them in their home in Avane, Italy during their three years of living abroad.

He was a member of the West Shore Lodge of the Sons of Italy organization.  During his time as a member of Sons of Italy, he was captain of the Bocce team, Lessona.  John named the team after the town in Italy where his grandfather was born.   Many of his Sons of Italy friends visited him in Italy and closely followed his Italian adventure stories.

Surviving are his very best friend and wife of 17 years, Deborah Kendrick, children; Kathryn (Timothy) Messelt of Portland, OR, David (Angel) Kendrick of Hagerstown, MD, Whitney Kendrick of Portland, OR and Preston Scott Kendrick of Monroeville, step-children; John (Lori) Edmondson and Amy (Craig) Duke of Chambersburg, five step-grandsons, one step-great-granddaughter, a sister, Karen (Jack) Potz of South Salem, NY, one nephew, three nieces, his Aunt Ivy Rose of TX and several cousins.  He was very proud of his family and thoroughly enjoyed the time they spent together.

A Celebration of John’s Life will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at 11 a.m. in the St. John’s Episcopal Church, On the Square in Carlisle, with Rev. Canon Mark A. Scheneman officiating.  The family will receive friends in the Church Parish Hall immediately following the service for a time of fellowship.  Burial will be in Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.

The family would like to thank the staff at Landstuhl Medical Center, Walter Reed Medical Center, LifeCare Acute Care Facility for providing excellent care to John during this most difficult time.  They would also like to thank all the Celtic Hospice staff for the care and support to our entire family and the private duty nurses who cared for John and supported the family in our home.  Most importantly, thank you to all of our large circle of friends who surrounded us with love and support – answering every call for help to allow us to return to our home and provide a loving environment for John and our family.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Ste. 420, Rockville, MD 20850-5168 or to Celtic Healthcare, 220 Wilson St., Ste. 100, Carlisle, PA 17013 or to Carlisle Hearts-n-Hands Sertoma Club C/O Marcy Robey, 513 College St., Carlisle, Pa 17013, or to St. John’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 612, Carlisle, PA 17013.  Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, Carlisle, is in charge of arrangements.

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Dear deb and family...john was indeed a man of several talents not the least of which were giving sharing and helping those who needed him...he was brilliant..his precense will be everlasting....I loved working with him at DESCOM....I will be forever thankful for having known him....he will always remain as a great representative of how life should be lived...with conscious honour....
sue (sturtevant) mccarl
To John's Family:
When your work is done,
Your course on earth is run,
May it be said,"Well Done";
Be thou at Peace.
God Speed John!
Jim McHone D3 1970
James S McHone
My deepest condolences to the Kendrick family. John was a West Point classmate and friend. I recall that John was on our Fencing Team but did not know that he participated in that sport in the Military Olympics. John will be missed by all. Be thou at peace John.

Tommy Maertens WP '70
John, without hesitation we all say a life "well done". May you rest in peace.
John Alan Norris. "70"


I was a classmate of John's. I did not know John well, but from his obituary am impressed with the exemplary life he lead. I just want to pass along my condolences to his family and those close to him. ...And my regrets for not having an opportunity to know John well. Enjoy every moment.
Dr Keith B Jarrett, USMA '70
Sorry to hear about John's death. John was a classmate and we worked together after graduation. Enjoyed many fun hours with him.
Dave Varnell
It is with sad heart that I hear of my West Point classmate's departure from our present stage of life's journey. I remember him well in our time as cadets and can only express great pride on how in his career he represented us in his professional, family and volunteer life. l extend my sympathy to his family at this time of transition.

Till we meet again John, well done, be thou at peace.
Tom Rozman
So sorry to hear of John's death. He was a great friend, Fencer and Team-mate at West Point. Looking back, I regret not keeping up with you and him. Looking back, Life just seems to have flashed by, but I'm sure you have many fond memories of him to cherish.
Nick Costantino
I'm so sorry to learn of his passing. He will always be fondly remembered by his West Point classmates. Roger Ledoux. Class of '70.

We are deeply saddened to hear of John's passing, and we send our heartfelt condolence as you celebrate his life. We were blessed and proud to have John as our classmate. Aloha John....

Gil Tam WP '70
I am very sorry to hear of John's passing. We were friends and went to Italy to fence together. May God grant you peace in this time of anguish. 

Roger Fox

 Debbie, We were so sorry to read of John's death. I actually thought of you recently, thinking you still lived in Italy. Take care,

 Duane and Sharon Foster

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Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, Inc.
Since 1853
630 S. Hanover St., Carlisle, PA 17013
Phone:  (717) 243-2421
"Five Generations of Service"
Steven A. Ewing, FD, Supervisor, Owner
William M. Ewing, FD
(1926 ~ 2009)
Seymour A. Ewing, FD
(1926 ~ 2009)
Jessie Morrison Ewing, FD
(1892 ~ 1988)
William J. Ewing, FD
(1898 ~ 1934)
Hastings A. Ewing, FD
(1866 ~ 1924)
Alexander B. Ewing, FD
(1831 ~ 1903)

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