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Dr. Tom Kendall Remembered

Source: Caring Bridge


Tom Kendall, a Sacramento area veterinarian for over 42 years, died peacefully in the comfort of his home on March 2, 2015 after being diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer in November, 2014. Born July 1, 1945, Tom leaves a lasting legacy as loving husband and father, widely respected practitioner of veterinary medicine, and dear friend to many - both the two and four footed variety.

Dr. Kendall was originally from Sheridan, Indiana and received his D.V.M. from Purdue University in 1969. Shortly after, he and his wife, Dianne, moved to California. In 1973 he found a home at Arden Animal Hospital where his boundless enthusiasm and energy touched the hearts and lives of his clients and patients. He encouraged and inspired his colleagues and health care team to embrace life long learning, challenging them to find purpose and meaning in what they do.

Tom loved interacting with people and celebrating the human-animal bond. With a kind, confident presence, and a twinkle in his eye, Dr. K. offered reassurance to the most reluctant kitty cat and eagerly met the playful energy of a happy canine. Many pet owners will remember Tom sharing pet care tips on frequent television and radio appearances throughout the years.

His love of veterinary medicine led to his involvement in the education of veterinarians nationwide. Since 1975 he has been an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he helped teach aspiring veterinary students the art of caring and communicating compassionately with their clients. Passing these skills on to students was one of Tom's greatest joys. Over the past 35 years Tom and the other veterinarians at Arden Animal Hospital welcomed over 70 students from Davis as externs.

Dr. Kendall was active in community activities including the Creative Initiative Foundation and People Working Together to Build a World Beyond War. He was involved in the Nuclear Safeguards Initiative which helped bring about California legislation to safeguard Nuclear Power Plants. For many years he donated one morning per month preparing breakfast for the homeless at Loaves and Fishes.

In 1993 Tom was a co-founder of the Mercer Veterinary Clinic where he recently served as Chief Financial Officer and Supervising Clinician. The clinic provides veterinary services to pets of the homeless as well as a venue for veterinary students to work alongside experienced veterinarians in providing care. "I really saw a great opportunity for students to learn about the importance of giving," said Dr. Kendall when talking about the Mercer Clinic to the Sacramento Bee for an "I Care" feature article. "Students see that people who are down and out are really no different. If you have no money or lots of money, you still love your pet an equal amount." As a fund raiser for the clinic Tom sponsored "Santa Paws" every Christmas, where pets are photographed with Santa.

Among a host of professional activities, Tom was President of the California Veterinary Medical Board at the time of his passing, and was President-Elect of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. He was a past President of the California Veterinary Medical Association (1997-1998) and later Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2002-2004). While in the latter position he visited all 29 veterinary schools in the U.S. He also served on the Mentoring Task Force of the American Animal Hospital Association and later on their board of directors.

Those who knew him will forever remember a devoted husband and father who loved to fish, tell a good story, and enjoy dinner and a night out with friends. Always generous with his time, he served as a mentor to both professional students and the children of family and friends. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a ready smile and infectious laugh.

Tom will be dearly missed by his wife Dianne, son Grant, daughter Heather, siblings David (Anne), Susan Hobson, and John (Liz) and extended family, colleagues, students, and friends.

A Celebration of Life will take place at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, 5645 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, Ca, on Saturday, March 14, at 2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Mercer Veterinary Clinic for the Homeless, P.O. Box 297, Davis, CA 95617. (530-752-1143): http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/clubs/mercer/

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