Doris E. Peakes Kendall, 94, died peacefully at home on April 8, 2020 in the company of her children after a few weeks of hospice care. Daughter of the late Herman L. and Marion Chinn Peakes, she grew up in Westons Silver Hill neighborhood, graduating from Weston High School in 1943. After graduating from Colby Junior College in N.H., she worked at Harvard Business School before marrying U.S. Army Air Corps Lt. Delvin E. Kendall of Baltimore. The couple spent a year in Ohio before returning east. They built a home at 44 Sunset Road, Weston; a few years later, moved to Connecticut; then settled in Wayland. The family lived on Marshall Terrace from close to 30 years. Beloved mother of Susan of Teasdale, Utah; Stephen (and Georgia Orcutt) of Cambridge, Mass.; Sara of Anacortes, Wash., Scott (and Carol) of Frisco, Colo.; and Sandy (and Ken Green) of Weston, Mass.; adored grandmother of Kalil, Patrick, Ashley, Laura, Zachary, Eli, Amos, and Thea; and great-grandmother to Lewis, Sage, and Gilbert; she also leaves behind dear nephews, nieces and cousins once removed, and friends young and old. She is predeceased by her husband of 50 years and her younger brother, John L. Peakes. While raising five children, Doris remained engaged in the community, from Weston Friendly Society to PTO, Boosters to polling place volunteer. From 1970 to 1979, she worked at Massachusetts Audubon Society headquarters, followed by a decade at Digital Electronics Corporation. After retiring, Doris and Del moved to Florida, and spent summers driving cross-country in a motorhome, visiting children and friends. Doris loved getting to know people and their stories, maintaining friendships over time and distance. She was especially interested in the lives of people with different backgrounds from hers. She hosted foreign exchange students and kept in touch for decades through letters and Facebook. She tutored English and sponsored citizenship for immigrants. She traveled in North and South America and England. She read widely and remained curious about the world until her last days. Her love of language and quick wit made her a wonderful raconteur, and her vast memory of poems, songs, and lore yielded an expression for any occasion. As a widow, Doris returned to Massachusetts in 2000. A true New Englander in pragmatism and self-reliance, she lived independently in Barnstable the rest of her life. You could catch her painting her deck or mowing the lawn into her late 80s. She was a champion knitter too, supplying family, friends, and nonprofits with sweaters, socks, mittens, hats, and scarves, which she seemed to dash off in the course of a few episodes of Masterpiece Theater. She volunteered regularly in Barnstable, her contributions recognized in 2011 with a citation from the Massachusetts Senate President and an award for community spirit and dignity in aging. The Barnstable Patriot then quoted the towns director of community services: There is no stopping Doris She is an absolute dynamo. She truly embodies the spirit of positive aging. A warm and supportive mother, an ideal grandmother, a dedicated volunteer, a valued friend, an engaged citizen, a tough cookie, and good company, Doris brightened countless lives and is already keenly missed. A memorial event is anticipated post-pandemic.
Published in The Wayland Town Crier from Jun. 23 to Jun. 30, 2020.