Pete Kendall, a career newspaperman and native Texan, passed away July 29 at his Cleburne home. He had undergone several heart procedures in recent years.
Kendall, 65, and a resident of Cleburne since 1981, was born Oct. 15, 1947, in Austin. He graduated in 1965 from Paschal High School in Fort Worth where he was editor of the Pantherette student newspaper. He graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1970 with a degree in journalism. While at UNM, he was editor of the yearbook and the student newspaper and staffed Lobo football games for the Albuquerque Journal and The Associated Press.
Returning to Texas after college, he worked at a number of newspapers including the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Grand Prairie Daily News, Victoria Advocate, San Angelo Standard-Times and Hood County News. He achieved a life-long goal by working at the defunct Fort Worth Press from 1972-75 as a sports reporter. He also wrote a jazz and blues column for the Press.
He worked for the Cleburne Times-Review as a sports editor and reporter from 1976-79, 1981-2001 and 2008-11. He was proud to have worked at the Times-Review in parts of five decades.
His freelance pieces were published in magazines as diverse as Jive, Texas Music and American Cooner. He authored the national obituary on blues legend T-Bone Walker for United Press International. He was the first journalist to write about Fort Worth blues star Robert Ealey and among the first to write about international blues star U.P. Wilson.
Several of his pieces were collected in a book on the history of Texas high school football. He published one nonfiction book, “Spike Owen & Other Cats,” a collection of his early Times-Review newspaper columns. He was executive producer of the blues CD album, “Blues That Time Forgot.”
Kendall won a number of writing awards for columns, features, spot news, spot sports and theater criticism. He loved books, music and animals and was a diehard fan of the Chicago Cubs and Bears.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Lyle Kendall Jr., an English professor, and Mary Aubyn Kendall, a business writer for United Press in New York during World War II and later curator of collections at the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History.
No visitation or funeral services are planned.
A memorial service for Kendall will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, at Crosier-Pearson Cleburne Funeral Home, 512 N. Ridgeway Drive.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Cleburne High School Athletic Department with the designation “In memory of Pete Kendall” at any First Financial Bank location.