Celebrating the life of William "Bill" Merritt Kendrick
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of
This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate
the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate
to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Obituary for William "Bill" Merritt Kendrick
Mr. William "Bill" Merritt Kendrick 84, of New Canton, passed away at 3:55 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois. He was born January 8, 1931, to Earl and Rachel (Pond) Kendrick, a grandson of E. J. and Isabel McFarland Kendrick. He was born at home two miles west of New Canton, Illinois, where he grew up. He married Doris Grady on July 13, 1951, in Pocahontas, Arkansas. She survives in New Canton. In addition to his wife, he is survived by 2 sons - Dan Kendrick of New Canton, Illinois; and Matt Kendrick & wife Diane of Hannibal, Missouri; and 1 daughter - Colleen Curtis & husband Jim of Jacksonville, North Carolina. Also surviving are 2 grandsons - Scott Kendrick & fiance Jesica Jones of New Canton, Illinois; and Lance Kendrick & wife Michelle of Barry, Illinois; 1 step grandson, Luke Tucker of Hannibal, Missouri; 3 granddaughters - Kristin Curtis of Jacksonville, North Carolina; Catie Schmitz husband Josh of Jacksonville, North Carolina; and Flynn Kendrick of Hannibal, Missouri; 3 great grandsons - Jacob Schwanke of Jacksonville, Illinois; Emmett Kendrick of Barry, Illinois; and Ian Kendrick of New Canton, Illinois; 2 step great grandsons - Mathew Bradshaw of New Canton, Illinois and Ayden Revis of New Canton, Illinois; and 1 great granddaughter, Ellie Kendrick of Barry, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his parents, 2 children in infancy and 1 step granddaughter, Jessica Tucker. Bill attended a one room school named "Prairie School". Then he attended high school in New Canton and graduated from there in 1948. He went to the University of Illinois for one year, then transferred to Western Illinois in Macomb until January of 1951. At that time he joined the US Marine Corps. He was sent to Parris Island, South Carolina for boot camp. From there he went to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina for training in demolitions. From there he went to Quantico, Virginia where he would spend the next three years. Bill was an instructor in demolitions at Marine Corps Schools. While in Quantico he quickly advanced from Private to Staff Sargent and then he received a meritorious commission. After gaining the rank of Lieutenant, he was sent to California to Camp Pendleton. While in California, he was trained in the mountains for cold weather maneuvers, since the Korean War was on at that time. Bill loved the Marine Corps and was very proud when his three children all went into the Marines after they were old enough. In March 1957 Bill was advanced to the rank of Captain, but he soon resigned his commission and came back to New Canton to begin farming with his father. Bill was busy with farm work and didn't have much time for hobbies, but he took up flying and got his license and enjoyed flying a plane for a few years. As the children got older, the family had a camp on the river and that is where they spent a lot of time boating and enjoying the water. Bill became a Mason, following the family tradition. His father, grandfather and all eight of his Kendrick uncles were Masons. Most of his life Bill volunteered his time to working on the levee at flood time. In 1993 he was in charge of Reach 2 of the Sny Island Levee District when he and a crew of other volunteers, working day and night in sometimes 100 degree heat, saved the levee from being overtopped by the high water, thus saving the town of New Canton and thousands of acres from being flooded. He was a modest man never expecting gratitude or praise. Having met the requirements of membership in the Marine Corps Mustang Association and in recognition of superior leadership and professional skills, this Marine Officer had risen from the enlisted ranks and has therefore earned the title "MUSTANG". He received this prestigious award in December, 1989. Bill was a member of the Quincy Shrine Club, Ansar Shrine of Springfield, 50 year member of New Canton Lodge #215 AF & AM, Marine Corps Mustang Association, Marine Heritage Foundation, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, American Legion Post #370, Louisiana, Missouri, NRA, New Canton Cemetery Association also having served as President for several years, Pike County Farm Bureau and the Republican National Committee. Visitation will be from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 6, 2015, at the Kirgan Funeral Home in Barry. Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 7, 2015, at the Kirgan Funeral Home in Barry. Burial will be in Shearer Cemetery, New Canton, Illinois. Memorials are suggested to the New Canton Harvest Festival Committee.