Obituary of Gordon Locke Kendall
On Tuesday morning, December 27, 2022 Gordon Locke Kendall was called to be with the Lord. Gordon was born on April 29, 1953 to the late Jack Sprull Kendall and Ida Sikes Kendall. As a teenager, Gordon enjoyed riding his motorcycle and staying out of trouble – which meant outrunning anyone trying to catch him. Gordon majored in Political Science at the University of South Carolina and graduated with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975. He was taken with a young woman named Pam, and their courtship began when he presented her with a red rose on her birthday. They married in 1979 in Columbia, SC and moved to Roanoke in May of 1980 with their first cat Felix.
Soon after, Gordon and Pam bought their house and continued adopting cats. They enjoyed good food, good wine, and good company and fell right in with the Roanoke community of wine lovers. Gordon earned a Degree in Electronic Engineering from Virginia Western and went to work for Ricoh as a fax and copier technician but he could not shake the allure of the wine business. Gordon worked for Harris Teeter purchasing wine, managed Lee & Edwards and also worked for Wine Gourmet while his wife Pam went on to work for a local wine distributor.
Gordon’s family enjoyed many camping adventures in their small Shasta camper while Gordon was growing up. Gordon enjoyed his travels to France, Spain, California, Mexico and in recent years the family reunion in Rehobeth Beach, DE with Pam’s Family. He enjoyed showing up at Mr. Bill’s Wine shop on Saturdays and striking up conversations with fellow customers. Gordon also enjoyed reading and watching programs about history.
For the past 15 years, Gordon worked for Allstate writing technical support articles and assisting agents. He also wrote a column for the Roanoke Times on the topic of Wine, Beer, and Spirits and wrote articles for numerous other publications on those topics. He liked meting new people and talking to them about their passions for creating and aging alcoholic beverages, and he enjoyed exploring the art and science that came together in a medium one could taste and share with friends. His writing was always informative and entertaining in a way anyone could find relatable: very much like Gordon himself.
Gordon could always start a conversation and find a common interest with anyone. You may not have known him at the start of your conversation, but he made you feel like an old friend by sharing his wisdom: how to make coleslaw (“the secret is to grate all your ingredients”), the proper height to mow your grass (“don’t scalp your lawn – leave it a little long”), how to handle a mess (Blast it with the hose!”, for those messes that could be taken outside) or “Spray it with bleach!” for those that could not). Gordon was a great storyteller with an infectious laugh. When he would recount his everyday experiences, it would be anything but normal, you would be hanging on to every word and no doubt be laughing through it all with Gordon. All of this would be said in his unmistakable Southern accent. He walked in the Wasena neighborhood almost every day and will be sorely missed by his neighbors.
Gordon was preceded in death by his second mother, Miriam Norton, who passed in 1983, his father-in-law, Hugh Norton in 1999, his mother, Ida in 2001 and his father Jack, who passed on December 20, 2022.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, Pamela Norton Kendall of Roanoke; his sister, Jacqueline Kendall Selden and her husband Samuel Spencer Selden of North Augusta, SC; and his brother-in-law, John Norton of Charlotte, North Carolina.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, January 13 at 2:00 PM at Simpson Funeral Home, 5160 Peters Creek Road with a reception immediately following the service at the funeral home. Eventually Gordon’s ashes will be combined with Pam’s and they will become a tree in Evergreen Burial Park.
Memorial gifts would be welcome to the Historical Society of Western Virginia or the ASPCA.
Online condolences may be sent to www.simpsonfuneral.com