Eight Bells: Robert Kendrick

Published on November 29th, 2018

Robert Kendrick

Robert Kendrick died November 25 at the age of 68 in Huntington, NY.

His passion was sailing. He said racing sailboats was like a game of chess, yet more complex because the playing board was always changing.

With wife June and daughter Amanda, he cruised the northeast on their various sailboats, enjoying Nantucket, Provincetown, Cuttyhunk and points in between. They raced as a family in local and Long Island Sound events, in his peak participating in 50+ events a year.

A member, Club Measurer, and past Director of Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club, he also served the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound from 1981 to 2017, as president from 2007 to 2009 and past chair of the Distance and PHRF Committees. He was a past member of Masthead Cove Yacht Club in New York and Waukegan Yacht Club in Illinois.

Maybe inspired by Australia II in the 1980s, definitely in search of stability, he fabricated winglets for his keel. Soup to nuts, he and June did everything themselves: designed the mold, melted and poured lead in the backyard, drilled into the keel, and faired the final winged keel. It didn’t make the boat faster so the next year they removed it – yet they were ambitious and optimistic enough to try.

In the 1990s his daughter started junior sailing, and rather than buy a seaworthy boat he decided to restore an old, dilapidated wooden Blue Jay. This turned out to be more work than expected: over the winter the family stripped her down to the frames and replaced a few ribs and all sides except for the transom.

One of his bucket list items was to captain his boat in the Newport Bermuda Race, which he did in both 2000 and 2002. He was looking forward to doing it again in 2018. His last sail was with his family in July, where it gave him great joy to overtake a long-time competitor in the final leg of an evening pursuit race.

He was born in Pasadena, CA. He moved throughout the Midwest as a child due to his father’s employment as a project foreman involved with building the interstate expressway system. As a consequence, he attended 13 schools by the time he graduated from high school.

He attended the University of Chicago where he played football for the first varsity team since the 1930s. At one of the games he injured his knee, which required surgery. That was the impetus for transferring to Purdue University, from which he was graduated. While attending summer school at Purdue, he met June in a computer science course.

When relocating to the New York metro area from Chicago for work in 1978, Bob and June chose Huntington because it had a marina that was a dealer for the brand of sailboat they owned. They put down roots and have lived there for 40 years.

His career started with programming for Honeywell, shifted to management consulting with PriceWaterhouse, Ernst & Young, and AGS Consulting. That was followed by 20 years of designing and implementing direct marketing databases with David Shepard Associates. He retired last year after five years as a project manager with Cisive.

Memorial donations honoring Bob may be made to Rocking the Boat (rockingtheboat.org and https://give.classy.org/Kendrick), which teaches boat building and life skills to youth in the South Bronx.

Memorial page is a work-in-progress at https://maconnellfuneralhome.com/tribute/details/6580/Robert-Kendrick/obituary.html

Visitation at M.A. Connell Funeral Home in Huntington, NY on Saturday, December 1 at 2-4p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Words of remembrance at 8pm.

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