John Kendrick

  • Born: September 8, 1960
  • Died: June 18, 2018
  • Location: Frankfort, Illinois

Kurtz Memorial Chapel

65 Old Frankfort Way
P.O. Box 1031
Frankfort, IL 60423

Tel. (815) 806-2225

Tribute & Message From The Family


Age 57 of Frankfort, passed away suddenly Monday, June 18th 2018 at St. James Hospital, Olympia Fields.

John is survived by his loving family, wife, Christine Kendrick (Zellmer), siblings, Bruce (Mary Kay) Kendrick, Kenneth (Carrie) Kendrick, Patricia (Darl) Vandevender, Karen (Joe) Ortagara, several cousins and many nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph & Violet Kendrick (Grichenbaum) and brother, James Patrick Kendrick.

John loved and taught mathmatics at Thornton Township High School in Harvey for 25 years. He was a former member of the coaching staff of the Marist High School Baseball Team as well as a member of the Marist Baseball Team who won the State Championship.

All services for John will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Diabetes Association would be appreciated. For information, or 815-806-2225.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Rest In Peace. You always saw the good in me when no one else did. Even though I was a nutcase you never gave up on me on a student and mentor. Love you 4 That.

Posted by Jalin Preston - Harvey, IL - Student   November 26, 2018

JOHNNY !!! Way too soon !
Wow. Great Person!! We Started playing baseball together with and against each other at the old Mt. Greenwood fields where Jewel and Bourbon Street are now. 115th and Kedzie. Greatest Fields Ever! Of Course because you were one of the Ground Keepers as well. Riding the tractor around like you owned the place ! :)
Going to Marist and Winning ! Winning the State Championship with You leading our team. Your continued Friendship through the years when we would meet.
Great Wonderful Person throughout our years !
When we meet again, I hope you're riding that Tractor !
Thank You Johnny

Posted by Ray Lang - Chicago, IL - Friend   July 11, 2018

My deepest condolences to Johnny's wife and family. My fondest memory of John was when the Kendrick kids, Nana, and Auntie Violet would come over for summer swimming and hot dogs. We always looked forward to your visits. I can still see Johnny running around in the yard with the biggest smile! Reading through all the heartwarming memorials, I was very touched to get some insight into what a wonderful person John grew up to be...and how he never lost that smile. My heart goes out to all of you as you learn to cope with his loss.

Posted by Mary Ann Piker - Johnsburg, IL - Family Friend   July 06, 2018

John was not only a good friend but a great teammate. He will be greatly missed. He was the main part of one of the best high school baseball teams in Illinois. My sincere condolences to his family and the Maoist community.

Posted by Tim Pyznarski - Palos Heights, IL - Classmate   July 02, 2018

Best centerfielder i ever played with and an even better friend. Wish i would have known sooner. See ya Johnny. Mike McCormick

Posted by Mike McCormick - Orland Park, IL - Friend   June 30, 2018

Mr. Kendricks was one of the first people here at Thornton that welcomed me with a GREAT BIG SMILE. I have never seen anything different from him since I met him in December a couple of years ago. I am so sorry to hear of his passing and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and anyone who has been affected by this terrible loss. Please be encouraged and Blessed.

Posted by Lashanetta Bryant - FLOSSMOOR, IL - Coworker   June 27, 2018

John was always a pleasant surprise, I never could predict his funny comments but he always made me smile. Students always came to my class saying nothing but good things about him. His presence will be sore missed and his missing kindness will be felt,

To the family. Life is like a vapor. It's amazing how quickly it can come and go. But the most important thing is to cherish the best moments and love each other more than ever, I pray for peace and joy to return, and that your life experience more fulfillment because of John and what he contributed to your life. Be encouraged, feel loved by all who reach out to you and mostly God's grace is sufficient. His strength is made perfect in weakness.

Posted by Yvette Eshiba - Calumet City, IL - Coworker   June 26, 2018

John was one of the first people to introduce himself to me when I first started with the district at Thornton HS. He was so kind, and had the most genuine smile I'd ever seen. He continued to be friendly after I went to work at Thornwood, and then Thornridge. I will miss his perpetual smile. He could light up a room like no other. My condolences go out to all of his loved ones.

Posted by Debra Gill - Crete, IL - Coworker   June 25, 2018

We are deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. I will always remember how John would stop briefly in my classroom or in the hall outside my door at the end of every day saying, "Hey Andy, time to go home!" His smile and encouraging personality will be greatly missed! Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this difficult time. Rest in peace, friend.

Posted by Larry & Marilyn Anderson - Saint John, IN - Coworker   June 23, 2018

Your untimely passing broke my heart.

So many special memories that you helped create for me over the years we shared.
~Summer in Athens. The Greek islands. Boating at Diamond Lake with our families. Bon fires with our dogs. We had so much fun....!
I didn't get the chance to say goodbye but will do so in my prayers tonight as your sweet soul lies to rest.
I will miss you " Yannaki mou"..but will never forget our many days of fun.
My only hope is that you knew how much you were loved by us all; both our families and friends.

In loving memory forever...Me ( Love from Oriana, Francesca, Paris, Eleni, Vasso, Jimmy, Leni, Tina and Mom )

Posted by Toni DI Meola Kendrick - Palos Park, IL - Family Friend   June 23, 2018

To John's wife and family
John will be missed by all. He was one of the most standup people I have ever known. May he rest in peace and continue teaching in heaven. He loved what he did and it showed by who he was and how he interacted with everyone.RIP

Posted by eileen chereska hagele - Lake Ozark, MO - Coworker   June 23, 2018

John was a caring and compassionate teacher and colleague. I never saw him walk past any child or co-worker without a smile and a warm greeting. He will be remembered as someone who made a difference in the lives of all who were lucky enough to know and work with him. We are better for having known him.

Posted by Lena Condic - Oak Forest, IL - Coworker   June 23, 2018

The colleagues I share a hall with and I would see Mr. Kendrick daily, as his preferred entrance and exit was at the end of our hall. Each day there would be fun banter, talking in accents, or some serious problem solving. Kendrick was someone I could rely on to help with a struggling student. If I saw his name on a struggling student's schedule, I knew he wouldn't hesitate to help. If we were lucky enough to see a student start to succeed, Kendrick would say it was because of me, and I would quickly respond it was because of him, but we both knew it was that fact we worked together, a student seeing multiple people cared, is what helped bring about the positive change. So when a friend broke the news to me, I was in disbelief, sad, and heartbroken. Kendrick won't be there next year to liven our hall up with his presence, or more importantly, to help me with our struggling students. Then I felt a bit of anger inside, because I didn't think people knew just how amazing John Kendrick was. Reading all the comments and posts have made me see people did know, and he was far more incredible than I had originally perceived. Prayers to his family, friends, and all that knew John Kendrick. Such an amazing person gone far too soon.

Posted by Michelle Graham - Wheaton, IL - Coworker   June 23, 2018

So sorry to hear of John's passing. John lived across the street from us growing up. Our neighborhood was one big family. I have many pictures of John when he was little.

Condolences to his wife, family, and friends.

Lynn Kruse Kimsel

Posted by Lynn Kruse Kimsel - Largo, FL - Friend   June 23, 2018

My condolences to John's wife and Kendrick family. So sorry to hear of the news about John. John was a friend of my brother Bill for many years in his younger days.

Posted by Denise Miletich - Family Friend   June 22, 2018


I met John at Thornton. We spent several years working in the same hallway and sharing many conversations. John had a wonderful sense of humor. He had way of making any situation joyful. As we watched our colleagues retire year after year, we laughed as we vowed that we would be the only two remaining at Thornton. I will miss your spirit my friend. My prayers are with the family.

Posted by Sirena Donaldson - flossmoor, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

We knew John from softball days on Sundays at Marist. Great guy. We are so sorry for your loss. You are in our prayers.

Posted by Dennis and Katie (Hurley) Kettering - Chicago - Friend   June 21, 2018

I have worked with John for 11 years and found him to be a caring teacher who loved the students. He always had a smile on his face and treated people respectfully. He loved to talk sports and boating. He found the time with his wife on his boat,as the most enjoyable moments of the summer months. Funny, motivated, sensitive...I will miss you. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Joe Janowiak - Woodridge, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

Wow! I'm just now hearing about this tragic news. Mr. Kendrick has always been encouraging and a welcoming presences in my brief 3 years at Thornton. He had a great sense of humor and was very friendly. This is sad very news! He'll be a great loss to Thornton's Math Department and a greater loss to his family and close friends. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by Dwight Morton - Frankfort, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

John and I had many good times together. Our trip to St Louis was one that I'll never forget . Rest In Peace my brotha . Hap Hap

Posted by John Harasen - Crestwood, IL - Friend   June 21, 2018

Rest well Mr.K
This is the man who gave my nickname everybody call me till this day, best math teacher I ever came upon.
You will me missed

Posted by Mariah McDowell - Harvey, IL - Student   June 21, 2018


Rest well in Heaven presence will surely be missed here with us, but your spirit we will carry in our memories of you. My prayers are with your family.

Posted by Sonia Marsalis-Smith - Harvey, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

My sincere condolences. I had the honor of being Mr. Kendrick's co-teacher in the past. He was an amazing teacher! He loved the students and always encouraged his students to do their best. Mr. K was funny, witty and an amazing person. He was loved by everyone and He will be deeply missed. Your family is in our thoughts, heart, and prayers.
Lilcritia Coleman

Posted by Lilcritia Coleman - Glenwood, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kendrick last year at Thornton High School. Very seldom does one remember their first time meeting someone but I remember meeting Mr. Kendrick. Mr. Kendrick was warm and friendly. His smile just lit up the place. He would always speak when I would see him in the hallway. My heart is very saddened and heavy of his passing away. Mr. Kendrick will be greatly missed! My prayers and condolences go out to the family.

Posted by Sonja Crudup - Harvey,, IL   June 21, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. I met John almost 22 years ago when I was in charge of substitutes at Thornton High School. I always saw him with a smile on his face.
I have never seen him sad. He was a caring, thoughtful person who showed concern for others, and he will be greatly missed.

Posted by Nefertiti Davis - Riverdale, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018


Our condolences to the family. We are keeping the family in are in our prayers.

Posted by Ms. M Brownlee - Dolton, IL - Coworker   June 21, 2018

Mr.Kendrick was the best math teacher a person could ever have. he was always so happy and excited to teach the class. He would always tell us stories about his life . we had some good laughs . Im so sad this has happened god bless your family ❤ R.I.P

Posted by Camaria Orr - Harvey, IL - student   June 21, 2018

Mr.kendrick was always excited to teach math . he was the best math teacher a person could ever have , im so heart broken that this has happened. Mr.kendrick was so full of joy he always told the class fun stories,he would smile all the time. I'm so shocked this has happened. R.i.p mr kendrick

Posted by Camaria Orr - Harvey, IL - Student   June 21, 2018

Hi Kenny, Bruce, Karen and Patty,
We are so sorry to hear that Johnny has passed. We have great memories of our families together at Auntie Helene and Uncle Vic's house and pool!
The Matias Family

Posted by The Matias Family - Hinsdale and Vermiion Bay, O, IL - Family Friend   June 21, 2018

Mr. Kendrick Was An Amazing Teacher. I Enjoyed His Class As Well As His Conversation; He Truly Cares About His Students As Well As His Staff. Thornton Will Not Be The Same Without Him. I'll Miss Walking Down The Hallways And Seeing His Bright Smile And Him Asking How My Day Was And Calling Me Turns. I'll Never Forget His Passion For Teaching Mathematics, Caring For Others, And His Love For Life.

Posted by Kyla Turner - Harvey, IL - Student   June 20, 2018

God bless you guys...I'm so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Sue West - Moriarty, NM - Friend   June 20, 2018

Hi, I am one of Mr.Kendrick's students. It truly pains me to find out the news. I can truly say he was the best math teacher I've ever had. He was patient and very sweet. A very caring man and he always was there to help. He was a very kind soul, always telling jokes and stories of his life. He always talked about how much he loved teaching, and I'm very glad I was able to be a student of his. I will miss him.

Posted by Destiny Meares - Harvet, IL - Student   June 20, 2018

John Kendricks and I were Type 1 diabetes buddies. We kept each other encouraged as we struggled to live with this dreadful disease. I'm so deeply sadden. Prayers of comfort for his family.

Posted by Karla Mitchell - South Holland, IL - Coworker   June 20, 2018

John was always so giving. I did some computer work for John when I worked at Thornton. He was so grateful when I fixed his wife's laptop. He had met my wife and daughter. My daughter was just a little girl and John proceeded for a couple of years to give me some unique little gifts for her at Christmas. I'll never forget that or the kindness he showed whenever I paid a visit to Thornton after leaving. Condolences to all of his family.

Posted by Andrew Chidester - Manhattan, IL - Coworker   June 20, 2018

My deepest condolences to Mr. Kendrick's family and friends, you will be kept in my prayers. Unfortunately, I did not have the experience to be able him as a teacher at Thornton, but I was able to be blessed by his kind & joyful presence when we would converse in the hallways occasionally. He often encouraged me to upkeep my good doings, so I can only imagine the immense care he had for his students. Once before, he even gave me a pair of Italian boots gifted from his wife, because he knows my great admiration for fashion. Mr. Kendrick was such a friendly spirited person and one of the most welcoming teachers I knew. He will definitely be missed by many, but never forgotten.

Posted by Jamyya Harris - Harvey, IL - Student   June 20, 2018

You will truly be missed, words cannot express how I'm feeling.

Posted by W Russell - Harvey, IL - Coworker   June 20, 2018

We will keep John's family in our thoughts and prayers. I am a former TTHS alum and college baseball coach. I always enjoyed my talks with John during his coaching years! I very much appreciated his energy and conviction.

Rest in peace John.

Posted by Ed Mathey - Sycamore, IL   June 20, 2018

My Deepest Sympathy to John's Family:

Mr. Kendrick was not only a great teacher he was special human being to know. He was one of the teachers who was blessed with great ability to work with our young people. We will miss him. Rest in peace Mr. Kendrick..

Posted by Denise Johnson - Dolton, IL - Coworker   June 20, 2018

My deppest sympathy to the family. Mr kendrick was my freshman year mathe teacher. He taught me so much and always encouraged me to dp my best. He always pushed me in class to do better. When I walked down the halls he always called me "Mr Green" and asked how I was doing and . He encouraged me to read more and to to pursue my dreams. He will truly be missed at thornton for the amazing teacher that he was.

Posted by Michael Green - Dolton, IL - Teacher   June 20, 2018

Mr. Kendrick was my math teacher at TTHS my junior year. He was a great teacher and he make sure that you understand the concept of math. He will be truly missed. One of favorite math teachers at TTHS. RIP Mr. Kendrick gone but never forgotten

Posted by Keisha Ware - Chicago, IL - Student   June 20, 2018

I'm just grateful I got to know you not just as a teacher but someone that was invested in our success and future. You will be truly missed.

Posted by Taylor James - Lansing, IL - Teacher   June 20, 2018

On behalf of my Mom, Helen, and sisters Sue and Mar and brother, Matt, and I we want you to know how very sad we were to hear of Johnny's passing. It's seems not that long ago we were all swimming in the "huge" pool in our backyard in Oak Lawn. Or, all 11 of us were crammed into the station wagon looking for ice cream as people gave us strange looks. Many happy memories. This is so very sad.


Posted by Linda Duczman O'Connell - Racine, WI - Family Friend   June 20, 2018

Johnny, God Bless you and your entire family. Always a smile on your face and willing to help out anyone. A great teammate, a true student of the game, never got out worked and such a kind heart. Thanks to you and your friendship, our State Championship Team will live forever in our hearts.

God Bless John Kendrick!

Your friends and teammates on the '78 Marist Baseball Team.

Posted by '78 MARIST BASEBALL '78 Marist Baseball - Oak Lawn, IL - Friend   June 20, 2018

Mr.Kendricks was one of the best teachers I've had. He is one of the reasons why i am in school to be a math teacher today. I have nothing but fond memories of his teachings and classroom. He is so dear to my heart and will truly be missed.

Posted by Asha James - IL - Student   June 20, 2018

Mr. Kendrick you were literally The Best Teacher Ever .. I had you math and I can honestly say you made sure all your students knew what they were doing ! Even if we didn't get the work you stayed on that lesson until we did ... I promise i would Never forget about you ever ! I love you sooo Much ... the only teacher that I wasn't scared to ask questions if I didn't get the work ... this is so Heart broken ! You will ALWAYS Have a Special place and my heart ! Forever & Ever !! #LongLiveMr.Kendrick❤

Posted by Tanara Hampton - Harvey, IL - Classmate   June 20, 2018

Mr. Kendrick you were the best anybody can have as a teacher! You bent over backwards for your students. You were my favorite even tho I probably used to give you some hard times. But I really appreciate the push you gave me to succeed in life. You will be truly missed.

Posted by Ariel Preston - Harvey, IL - Student   June 20, 2018


In your life you touched so many and
In your death many lives were changed.

Posted by Letty Medina - IN - Friend   June 20, 2018


My deepest sympathy to John's family. I am so saddened by this news. I will keep John and you in my prayers, and I wish you comfort and strength in the days ahead.

Posted by Michele Dendler - IL - Friend   June 20, 2018


I'm so sad to hear of John's passing. He will be greatly missed at TTHS. When John first started at Thornton I was assigned as his "Big Sister" (this was back in the day) or Mentor. He often called me "Sis." John did not heed or need "advice" as he was a seasoned teacher and baseball coach. But once he did ask me what the batter should do with men on 1st & 3rd and one out? I said "bunt." John told me I could be his assistant coach!

John touched the lives of many young people. Recently I met a former TTHS student, Class of '08, who remembered him fondly with some funny anecdotes. John will live on in the memory of those he taught and of many of his colleagues.

Posted by Cheryl Bruozas - Coworker   June 20, 2018

I want to send my condolences to the family. He was my daughter's math teacher for the last 2 years and he was such an inspiration her. He found out how the kids liked to learn and changed his style of teaching so that everyone understood and was successful. She was devastated by the news. He called her Scottie...Mr. Kendrick will be truly missed. We will pray for his family. RIP MR. KENDRICK

Posted by Wendy Smith - Harvey, IL - Student   June 20, 2018

You taught me so much , I respected you through everything.

Posted by Marchon Walters - Harvey - Student   June 20, 2018

Saddened to hear of John's passing. My deepest sympathies to his wife and family. The Kendrick family was always a special part of my family growing up through a friendship our mothers (Helen and Violet) kept from childhood. Happy memories from backyard gatherings on warm summer days, and annual picnics in the forest preserves. Fast forward decades to hear of his passing much too soon, but also of his talent as a teacher, and his lasting impression on students, and admiration from coworkers. A life well lived! Rest In Peace John, and may God bless you and your loved ones.

Posted by Matt Duczman - Schaumburg, IL - Family Friend   June 20, 2018

I am deeply saddened by this news. My prayers are with family and friends at this time. Mr. Kendrick wasn't just an AMAZING teacher but, an amazing mentor as well. He was one of the few educators that went the extra mile. He would often find a joke to go with the advice he gave. I am grateful that I had him as a teacher for two years and a mentor since I met him, 6 years. He will truly be missed! Thanks for blessing wildcat country with your presence!

Posted by Destiny Mahaffey - Harvey, IL - Student   June 19, 2018

This is the saddest news. John was a phenomenal teacher, thinker, colleague, and friend. I worked with him at Thornton and always enjoyed our interactions. He lit up the world with his knowledge and sense of humor. We are all better for having known him. My deepest condolences to all who loved him.

Posted by Saralyn Richard - GALVESTON, TX - Coworker   June 19, 2018

Mr. Kendrick was a wonderful person. He was the first math teacher I've ever had that made math look so easy and he was math teacher when I was a senior 2012! Mr. Kendrick was loved by many and will be missed by even more. His family is in my prayers. R.I.P

Posted by Latrese Smith - Harvey, IL - Student   June 19, 2018

I am retired now, but whenever I saw john he was happy to see me and gave me a hug. What a terrible loss and just breaks my heart. I send my sincere condolences and prayers to his family.

Posted by ellene beard - south holland, IL - Coworker   June 19, 2018

John was a great math teacher and co-worker. Always upbeat whenever I saw him.

Posted by John Dennis - Gary, IN - Coworker   June 19, 2018

My deepest condolences. Mr. Kendrick was one of my first friends when I transferred to Thornton eight years ago. He was a friendly and hilarious neighbor when we were in the 240 hallway together. I will truly miss him.

Posted by Elizabeth Villarreal - Coworker   June 19, 2018

May you rest in peace mr. Kendrick! You were an extraordinary math teacher who really showed passion for his work! You will be missed! My sincere condolences to the family!

Posted by Gabriela Najera - Harvey, IL - Classmate   June 19, 2018


My heart goes out to John's wife & family.
Many fond memories coming of age with John by my side.
Marist high, the summer of 78, the Egg & I & my wedding to name just a few.
Whenever I think about the good times of my youth John will always be there.
Rest in peace old friend.

Posted by Tom Tracy - Chicago, IL - Friend   June 19, 2018

Mr. Kendrick was an amazing teacher and person. He was my teacher for two years back when I was a student at Thornton Township High School. I will never forget how enthusiastic he was about teaching us and how you could tell he was passionate about teaching. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten

Posted by Miguel Alvarez - Harvey, IL - Student   June 19, 2018

RIP Mr. Kendrick you were my favorite math teacher at Thornton and I will miss you in the hallways at Thornton

Posted by Dawn Centracchio    June 19, 2018

Coach Kendrick was my baseball coach at Thornton in 1994. We then taught together the last 18 years. He was friendly, kind, and extremely thoughtful. He was a great man and will be missed.

Posted by Brad Ablin - Mokena, IL - Coworker   June 19, 2018