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BELMONT, Mass. - Clark Kendall, veteran, respected business visionary, involved citizen, and most importantly, loving husband, and the best father his girls could ever ask for, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, at his home in Belmont on Friday, April 19th, 2013 at the age of 90. He was the definition of what an American is supposed to be.
Clark is survived by: his loving wife of 54 years, Sandra Janellyn Bailey Kendall; daughters, Susan Lee Kendall, of Belmont, Deborah Jane Kendall, of Killington, Vt., and Jane Ellen Kendall Murphy and her husband, Robert, of Sudbury, Mass.; 6 grandchildren, Kenneth Oliver Freiner III, of Bedford, Clark Kendall Freiner, of Bedford, John Thomas Murphy, Katrina Clare Murphy, Julia Janellyn Murphy and Charles Joseph Murphy, of Sudbury; his nephew, Scott Hathaway Kendall, of Lexington, and niece, Heidi Lynn Kendall Driscoll, of Winchester, and their families.
Clark was born on May 15, 1922, at 124 Goden Street and was a lifelong resident of Belmont. He was the son of Francis Hathaway Kendall and Harriet Johnston Kendall, and brother of the late John Hathaway Kendall, all of Belmont.
Clark attended Belmont Public Schools, graduating from Belmont High School in 1940. He attended Bryant & Stratton Business School, and graduated from a course in Business Administration. Following World War II Clark entered Mass State College at Fort Devens, Mass., and University of Massachusetts. He joined the Fraternity of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1950.
Clark proudly served in World War II for 39 months with the United States Army Infantry and as a Surgical Technician in the 123rd Evacuation Hospital in France and Germany. He served again as a Surgical Technician for 10 months during the Korean conflict in Japan.
Clark started his automotive career working for two Ford and Lincoln Mercury dealerships, then in 1955 started Foreign Cars of Belmont, which became Belmont Volkswagen. He was one of the first Volkswagen dealers in the United States, and his business flourished for 44 years as a single-line, hometown dealership. Clark's integrity in business and commitment to his community made him a highly regarded civic leader. Clark sold the VW franchise in 1999 and redeveloped the Trapelo Road property, where the Kendall Building now stands.
No man loved his hometown more than Clark loved Belmont. Clark served as a Special Auxiliary Policeman in Belmont for 30 years; he also chaired the Belmont Warrant Committee, was a Town Meeting Member of Belmont Precinct 1, was a member and past-President of Rotary Club of Belmont with 50 years perfect attendance, and was chairman of the board of Belmont Savings Bank.
One of Clark's other passions was antique automobiles. He was a Trustee of the Larz Anderson Museum, a founder of the Vintage Sports Car Club of America, a member of the Veteran Motor Car Club of America and the Antique Auto Club of America. He also provided cars to convey the World War I and World War II veterans in the Belmont Memorial Day Parade for many years.
Having traveled extensively during his military service, Clark never wanted to stray too far from home again unless it was to his summer home, the "stately pleasure-dome Xanadu" on Square Pond in Shapleigh, Maine. Clark enjoyed sailing, boating and snowmobiling in Maine and was a founding member of the Square Pond Yacht Club. One of his greatest pleasures was driving up the Mount Washington Auto Road in his many modes of transportation, most notably his 1913 Ford Model T, 1926 Packard, 1964 Lincoln Continental, and BMW motorcycle.
He will be lovingly remembered by his family, neighbors, and CB buddies for sitting on his porch "root root rooting" for the Red Sox, calling the loons, announcing the "First Dog Watch" and exclaiming "Bravo" for fireworks. All visitors to his vacation abode were greeted with a hearty "Welcome" and departed with a sincere command for them to "Hurry back!"
He was a consummate gentleman, truly one of a kind, and we will never forget and forever miss his enthusiasm for life, recitations of poetry, unique sense of style, generosity, empathy, and his booming voice and beaming smile. Bravo to a life well lived!
Visiting hours were held in the Brown & Hickey Funeral Home in Belmont on Monday, April 22. A memorial service was held at the First Baptist Church of Belmont in Belmont on Tuesday, April 23.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Larz Anderson Auto Museum of Brookline (larzanderson.org), 15 Newton Street Brookline, Mass. 02445.
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Published in Fosters from Apr. 22 to Apr. 28, 2013