Carol Kendall
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Carol Kendall, Writer (1917-2012)

Siggy Kendall was born September 13, 1917. It was the end of World War I; it was the beginning of the Spanish Flu Pandemic; it was a time when the Russian Revolution shook the world. She married Paul Murray Kendall, English Professor, historian and biographer in 1939 on the eve of WWII. Siggy came to observe with the acumen of a writer the major events and developments of the twentieth century.

When Siggy was a child, the iceman made deliveries to the house. As an adult, she wrote a book on a new device: the home computer. Her life spanned technologies, different ways of living, new visions of what the world was and what it could be.

Siggy's first books were for adults – The Black Seven (1946) and The Baby Snatcher (1952) – but she realized, after casting a twelve-year-old boy as her detective, that she wanted to write for children. In 1957, she wrote The Other Side of the Tunnel, and in 1960, The Big Splash. Between these, she wrote The Gammage Cup (1959), a Newbery Honor Book and an Ohioana prize winner (published in England as The Minnipins). Twenty-eight years later, this book became a Hanna-Barbera animated film for television and is still in print. The famous editor Margaret McElderry worked with Siggy and offered suggestions that helped lead to the final draft of The Gammage Cup. The sequel, The Whisper of Glocken, was published in 1965. Siggy's final fantasy, The Firelings, was published in 1981 and won a Parents' Choice Award and the 1983 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award. Her manuscripts and archives are housed in the Special Collections of the James C. Kirkpatrick Library at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg.

After travels to far-flung places (Easter Island was a favorite) and many visits to China, Siggy became interested in folk tales and proceeded to publish Haunting Tales from Japan (1985) and The Wedding of the Rat Family (1988). She translated and retold, with co-author Yao-wen Li, two collections of folk tales: Sweet and Sour: Tales of China and Cinnamon Moon. A number of these tales appeared in Cricket magazine. Despite her deep love of travel, Siggy always liked to return to her beloved house on Holiday Drive and to Kansas, "with its big blue skies, its fresh air, and its friendliness."

Siggy is survived by her two loving daughters, Caroline Kendall Orszak and Gillian Murray Kendall, their husbands Thomas Orszak and Robert Dorit, and by three grandchildren, Christopher Kendall Ahearn (and his wife Elly Truitt); Sasha Dorit-Kendall and Gabriel Dorit-Kendall. Paul Murray Kendall, her husband, predeceased her in November of 1973. Thank you to Grace Hospice and the staff and nurses at Pioneer Ridge. No flowers please.

Please sign this guestbook at

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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Jul. 29, 2012.
Memories & Condolences
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10 entries
August 7, 2012
My daughter received signed copies of the books from Beth Harrison since she was a neighbor and knew of our love of books. My daughter and I fell in love with Carol's beautiful writing.
Donna Lindsay
August 6, 2012
Siggy was my nieghbor on St. Andrews Drive and was a substitute "mother" for me during a very difficult time. Our paths diverged for many years, but in 2010 I began visitng her and reading the Maud Hart Lovelace books to her which she enjoyed.

Siggy's love, joy and imagination have been enjoyed and will be enjoyed by countless people through her books. I'm so blessed to have know her in person.
Beth Harrison
August 1, 2012
What a full and wonderful life "Siggy" must have had! What an interesting name. She saw so many things and she shared so much...peace and condolences to you Callie, and your family. WmJS
August 1, 2012
I am signing this book to honor the old friendship between the Kendalls and my aunt, Mary Helen Vincent, deceased. As a young child I met Paul and Sig while visiting my aunt in Athens, Ohio. They made a deep impression on me. Caring, thoughtful people who had such good minds and wide vision. For some reason, I woke this morning with Siggy in my thoughts, and looking her up online, I found she had just passed away. I send heartfelt condolences to her daughters, whom I remember as Curley Green and Gillian, two very lovely children.
Donna Leach Tartaglia
Christchurch, New Zealand
Donna Leach Tartaglia
July 31, 2012
I loved her books, what a great author, family, life..a prayer is said for her & your family..may you be @ peace knowing she is safe w the Lord, loving & watching over you.
Alesha OliverLane & Family
July 30, 2012
I was very fortunate to have known Siggy during my stay at KU. She was my intellectual mentor and good friend. Many of her thoughts and ideas were unique and inspiring. She will be missed by all her friends.
R Su
July 29, 2012
It was an absolute pleasure to cross paths with her. Thanks Siggy. Bless...
July 29, 2012
I never knew Siggy before she moved to the retirement home. We got to talking every once in a while, and I came to believe that this is definitely one of those folks who comes around and makes every ones world a little better
July 29, 2012
Siggy was a very wonderful, loving person. Her smile was like the sunshine, so warm & bright. I am so honored that I had the experience of knowing and being a part of Siggy's life. She will be missed by so many.
Jamie Pettengill
July 29, 2012
A very fine lady. Her husband, Prof. Paul Kendall, was one of the best teachers I ever had at the University of Kansas.
Paul Stephen Lim
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