Obituary for Nina May Kendrick
Nina May Kendrick was born May 1, 1923 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada to Stanley Roy and Muriel Alberta (Pettit) Brownell. She married Vernard William (Ben) Kendrick on June 19, 1948 in Rochester, New York. He preceded her in death on July 13, 2009.
Nina accepted Jesus as her Savior at an early age and was a member of the North Baptist Church in Rochester, New York. At the age of 8 she dedicated her life to missionary service in Africa and began that journey, attending and graduating from Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, New York. She and Ben were accepted by Baptist Mid-Missions, Cleveland, Ohio with Bible Baptist Church, Shickshinny, Pennsylvania as their sending church, and left for France in 1952 to begin language study before departing a year later to French Equatorial Africa, now Chad and Central African Republic, ministering on the remote Kyabe station on the southern fringes of the Sahara Desert in evangelism and church planting. Later Nina and Ben moved to the Central African Republic where she taught Bible School, was houseparent at the missionary boarding school, and later worked with Ben in the capitol city of Bangui where Ben was the field business manager and she was active in hospitality to missionaries arriving and departing the field.
After retiring from the field in 1973 and moving to Cleveland, Ohio Nina began a career as the Activities Director for the A.M. McGregor Home, a senior care community in Cleveland where she managed their craft store, arranged outings and coordinated special events. She attended Cedar Hill Baptist Church where she taught a women’s Sunday School class. In 1989, upon her husband’s retirement from the home office, they moved to Martinsville, Indiana where she became active in the Martinsville Baptist Tabernacle in the GEMS program. She co-authored A World of Treasure with her husband about their missionary experiences in Africa. She accompanied Ben to Bible youth camps each year at Gitchee Gumee, Thunder Bay Ontario and Camp Chetek, Chetek, Wisconsin where he was the camp pastor. They never fully retired from missions but traveled widely speaking at mission conferences and in many churches. In 2007 she moved to Greenwood, Indiana to the campus of Indiana Baptist College where Ben was an administrator and she taught women’s classes. Sallie McElwain Lamponen, Emeritus-Women’s Department at Baptist Mid-Missions wrote, “She was one of the most creative women I ever met. I asked Nina if she would help in the area of missionary projects. She stepped right up to give immeasurable input, but it went beyond missionary projects. Her wisdom and gentle understanding of God’s Word influenced me greatly.”
After her husband’s death in 2009, she moved to Warsaw, Indiana to be closer to her daughter, Pam. Surviving are her children, daughter Pam Cook (Jeff), Claypool, Peter Kendrick (Debbie), Cortland, Ohio, and Paul Kendrick, Warsaw, Indiana. Also, two grandchildren, Kris Kendrick (Ashley), Royston, Georgia, and Erin Beigh (and fiancé James Davis), Claypool, a great-granddaughter and love of her life, Savannah, two nieces, and two nephews, six step-grandsons, a step-granddaughter and nine step-great-grandchildren and several great-nieces and nephews. Also preceding her in death are her parents, two brothers, Walter and Stanley Brownell, and two sisters, Elizabeth Rockwell and Mary Lou Brownell, a nephew Steven Rockwell and a step-great-grandson. She leaves behind a legacy of courage, grace, and godliness.
There will be no local calling. An 11 a.m. graveside service will be held Monday, March 4 at Mt. Pleasant Glenns Valley Cemetery, 734 N Morgantown Rd, Greenwood, Indiana with Pastors David Zemple and Paul Reed officiating. A celebration of Nina’s long and adventureous life will be held at a later date at the Martinsville Baptist Tabernacle, Martinsville, Indiana.
Memorial donations may be made to help with final expenses and to support several of her favorite charities in care of McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapels, 2290 Provident Ct, Warsaw, Indiana 46580.
Obituary for Nina May Kendrick