Cover photo for Dr. Philip Wesley "Phil" Kendall's Obituary
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Dr. Philip Wesley "Phil" Kendall

December 7, 1935 — May 21, 2021

Brownsville, Texas

Dr. Philip Wesley "Phil" Kendall

BROWNSVILLE, TX. - Dr. Philip Wesley (Phil) Kendall, died Friday, May 21, 2021, at his residence in Brownsville, Texas. He was born in 1935 in Los Angeles, California to Rev. Charles S. Kendall and Mary Louise (Mary Lou) Travis Kendall. He had been cared for at home by Greater Valley Hospice. The Darling-Mouser Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements.

Dr. Kendall graduated with a BA from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and a PhD in History from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. A preacher’s son, he had what his brother C. Travis Kendall a Methodist minister (deceased) called “a secular ministry.” First as an assistant professor in Maine, and then as a university administrator and as a member of the History faculty, Kendall was well known for his energy, his enthusiasm and his enjoyment in his work in Illinois, Minnesota, Wyoming, and in Texas. Kendall served in the Army of the United States and was honorably discharged on October 7, 1964.

In the spring of 1992, Kendall became the first Vice President of Academic Affairs at the newly created University of Texas at Brownsville in partnership with Texas Southmost College. This unique educational model combining a new upper-level institution serving both baccalaureate and graduate students with a current comprehensive community college. The “Partnership” retained the identity and mission of the Community College and contracted with the University of Texas System to provide all of its services.

Dr. Kendall was responsible for the development of all academic programs and the formation of the original colleges and schools, as well as most other administrative services. The purpose of this partnership was to increase student access, remove inter-institutional barriers, increase the number of academic programs, and reduce administrative costs.

The Vice President was responsible for the development and implementation of combined academic operations for the new partnership. Major institutional accomplishments during this time included: the development of new policies and procedures for academic affairs; the merger of two faculties and the initiation of a faculty planning and development process; substantial curricular revision, comprehensive program articulation, and the development and regental approval of 20 new academic programs; the planning and implementation of a campus-wide technology initiative including the enhancement of library services and materials, the creation of a computer commons and distance learning support facilities, and the development of computer assisted and computer directed instruction; planning and construction of a $23 million physical science and engineering technology facility; the development of strategic planning processes; the initiation of an academic program review process; and the establishment of an Academic Senate.

In 1996, Kendall became full time tenured Professor of History at UTB/TSC. Philip loved his life in academe and especially his students and faculty colleagues; he spent his spare time fishing, playing his flute, and studying Spanish. He loved summer travel with visits to sons and grandchildren. In 2015 he retired to spend full time with his wife Noel, also an educator, having often said, “I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t in love with Noel.”

He is survived by his wife of 64 years Noel Link (Mrs. Phil) Kendall; three sons: Travis Link Kendall of Cambridge, Minnesota; Damon Claud Kendall of Norway, Maine; and Jason Shilling Kendall of Brooklyn, New York; a sister, Margaret Ann Kendall Soulen of Williamsburg, Virginia; six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Memories of Dr. Kendall may be shared at

Personalized funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Darling-Mouser Funeral Home at 945 Palm Boulevard in Brownsville, Texas 78520, (956) 546-7111.

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