Robert L. Kendall Jr., 83, lawyer

Robert L. Kendall Jr.
Robert L. Kendall Jr.
Posted: September 01, 2014

Robert L. Kendall Jr., 83, formerly of Gladwyne, retired partner in the law firm Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis L.L.P., died Wednesday, Aug. 20, of Parkinson's disease at Dunwoody Village.

Mr. Kendall practiced law in the Philadelphia office of Schnader, Harrison, Segal & Lewis for 40 years. He served on the firm's executive committee and as founding and managing partner of its Atlanta office.

His specialties were federal antitrust cases, cases having to do with government regulation of business, and product liability involving commercial and industrial products and machinery.

He also taught antitrust law at the law schools of Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1978, on behalf of United Parcel Service, he successfully challenged the U.S. Post Office's then-arbitrary system of changing its own rates and classifications for handling the mail.

"When the Postal Service seeks to experiment with the rates postal patrons pay for sending their mail through the postal system, it must first request a recommended decision from the Postal Rate Commission," District Court Judge Edward R. Becker ruled on July 19, 1978.

Pleased with that and other rulings, United Parcel Service presented Mr. Kendall with an award for 40 years of excellent representation at his retirement in 1996.

Born in Rochester, N.H., Mr. Kendall grew up in Falmouth, Mass., where he graduated from high school in 1948 as class president. In 1947, as an Eagle Scout, he represented the Cape Cod Scout Council in France at the International Jamboree de la Paix; he carried the American flag in the opening parade down the Champs Elysees, a great honor.

That year, he represented his high school in a radio debate sponsored by Boston station WBZA. He was teamed with Patricia Palmer, a debater from Randolph, Mass. Seven years later, they married.

Mr. Kendall graduated from Harvard University in 1952. He was a scholarship student majoring in government. He played football and sang in the Harvard Glee Club.

Mr. Kendall attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School on a full scholarship and graduated in 1955. He received a Rotary Foundation Fellowship to study abroad. He and his wife went to England, where he earned a law diploma from University College Oxford in 1956.

Mr. Kendall found time to volunteer. For many years, he served as rector's warden and on the vestry of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, Gladwyne. He was a member of the Episcopal Church Club of Philadelphia and chaired its scholarship committee for seminarians.

He sat on the committee that pushed to ordain women in the Episcopal Church. In 1974, he represented pro bono Suzanne Hiatt, one of the first 11 women to be ordained to the priesthood without the church's blessing; two years later, the church reversed itself and approved the ordination of women at its convention in Minneapolis.

"Bob consistently led us to the bright light of charity and justice, with his calm wisdom, unfailing kindness, and great knowledge," said the Rev. William H. Wood III, former rector of St. Christopher's Church.

Mr. Kendall participated in the Philadelphia Rotary Club, was steward of the Welsh Society of Philadelphia, and chaired its college scholarship committee. He served on the board of directors of what is now the Mann Center for the Performing Arts from 1971 to 1998 and on the board of Settlement Music School for 30 years.

In addition to his wife of 59 years, he is survived by daughters Linda Kendall Rissell, Cynthia Kendall Lindquist, and Janet Kendall Lankin; seven grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; and a brother.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 226 Righters Mill Rd., Gladwyne. Burial will be private.

Contributions may be made to the Settlement Music School, Box 63966, Philadelphia 19147, or the Parkinson's Action Network, 1025 Vermont Ave. N.W., Suite 1120, Washington, D.C. 20005.


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