Janet Rae Mack Kendall was born December 27, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her soul departed on April 4, 2021 in Ozark, Alabama, surrounded by her family. Janet was married to Bobby Joe Kendall from Birmingham, Alabama for 68 years. As a young bride, Janet traveled to foreign lands with her husband experiencing Turkey, Africa, and California. They settled into life in the United States with tours of duty in Florida, Virginia, and Rhode Island. After 20 years of service life Janet and Bobby moved to Alabama and continued loving and serving in a humble and kind manner.
Janet was a remarkable woman. She was the product of a broken home and determined her own children would have the stability of a two-parent family. Although she was unable to complete a high school education as a young person, she later earned her GED, and attended classes at Wallace Community College. As a young lady, Janet started working for Strietmann Biscuit Company. Strietmann’s was bought out by Keebler, so her family often called her one of the original elves! Janet loved baking; she made the best pound cakes, chocolate sheet cakes, Hummingbird cakes, pumpkin rolls, peach flips, and an assortment of cookies and candies. Each Christmas her table was full of treats for visitors. Janet was hospitable. There was always a pot of coffee brewing and an extra seat at her table. Janet joyfully opened her home to everyone. She regularly hosted events at her home and loved serving others.
Although Janet was only 5’2” tall, she could drive an 18-wheeler. Her last paid position was driving for Clay Hyder. While she enjoyed driving, her heart was at home and so that’s where she returned to serve her family. Janet could sew and knit. She made costumes, pillows, and even Barbie clothes for the people she loved. Janet liked music and was often heard singing while working. She and Bobby did a good bit of dancing in their younger days. Janet often delighted her kids and grandkids with her “Camel” dance!
Janet was a Christian. Once Jesus entered her life, she taught her children to have devotions, to pray, and to attend worship faithfully. Janet served in various capacities in her church. She taught Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, she attended Bible studies, and was even known to sneak into the church after hours to clean the house of God. Janet was concerned for everyone’s soul. If you are reading this and have never invited Jesus into your heart, she loved you and prayed for your soul, that it might know the life transforming power of a relationship with Jesus.
Janet is survived by her husband, Bobby Joe, and their five daughters: Vicky Kendall Simpson, (children, Matthew and Jordan (Jimmy), Eden, Kendall, MacKinley, and Journey); Shery Kendall Butler (late husband Glenn, children Ethan (Beth) and Emma); Robin Kendall Meeker (husband Kim Thomas and daughters Amy and Jennifer (Matthew)); Bobie Kendall Salt (husband Don and sons Aaron (Cortney) and Justin (Kaylyn)); and Diana Kendall Waller (children Ryan (Clay), Haley, Jameson, and their father, Jim Lund, and Catherine Waller). She had multiple great grandchildren: Gavin Simpson; Jackson, Kayte, and Karley Segrest; Kayden, Anastasia and Lucy Butler; Abrhim and Able Garrett; Asher, Declan, and Everett Salt; and twins Hadleigh and Emily Salt.
Janet will be laid to rest on April 6, 2021. Funeral arrangements are by Fuqua Bankston Funeral Home and the service celebrating her life will be at New Covenant Christian Fellowship with interment at Gardens of Memory.
In lieu of flowers, Janet would like donations made to CBNs Operation Blessing at:
977 Centerville Turnpike
Virginia Beach, VA 23463