Beatrice Clemens, Gordon & Associates, Anita Kendall, Samuel Kendall, Kevin
Minnihan, Missouri Falconers Association, Sarah Shinkle, John & Vicki Swift
Henry Cochran Kendall (1922-2007)
— by John R. Swift
Henry C. Kendall was born on June 8
, 1922 in
St. Louis, Missouri where he would spend his
entire life. Henry always had a love for birds and
animals. He was always exploring the wooded
areas around his home. He would eventually
raise over 50 species of birds taken from local
nests as young birds. This early skill would later
serve him well in rearing young Prairie Falcons
in 1967. Several other area youth shared the
same interests as Henry and together formed
a local falconry club when they were all in their
teens. The clubs members who attended John
Burroughs and Country Day School and were
all invited to hear falconer/author Capt. Charles
Knight, who brought his Golden eagle, Mr.
Ramshaw, speak on falconry. That served to spur
them on with their love of hawks and falconry.
Red-tailed hawks and Coopers Hawks were the
primary hawks utilized when they were hunting
rabbits and quail. Henry would also develop into
an avid falconry book collector, which began in
1940 with the William F. Russell’s Falconry and
John and Frank Craighead’s Hawks in the Hand.
Henry initially attended Bowden College for two
years but like so many students he was drawn
into WW II. He attended ight school and upon
graduation chose the Marine Air Corps. He ew
his Corsair during the invasion of Okinawa and
was the rst pilot to land there after the aireld
was secured. The war ended shortly thereafter
and Henry returned home and attended Harvard
on the GI bill. He had originally wanted to be-
come a doctor but wanted to get out and start his
life so he graduated with a degree in psychology.
While at home in St. Louis he attended a party at
some family friends, the Conants, where he met
their daughter Betty with whom he immediately
fell in love. They were married 6 months later.
Henry and Betty set out on their life together and
would have six children, which would cause them
to seek larger houses eventually purchasing the
large house in Ladue where so many falconry
gatherings would take place.
During Henry’s active falconry career he would
make several successful visits to the Queen
Charlottes to secure Peale’s falcons, capture
numerous Tundra falcons on the beaches in
Alabama and Padre Island, Texas. He explored
the Horton River in the Northwest Territories with
his son Jud in July 1967 to take Gyrfalcons and
Peregrines. He was always present at the early
NAFA meets in the 60’s and was as active as any
falconer of that period.
Henry had never given up on his desire to breed
large falcons in captivity. He obtained a tiercel
named Tim from falconer Frank Serra and a fal-
con named Taka from Ed Fitch. The pair was
compatible and soon laid eggs and one young
chick was hatched in 1967 but died shortly there
after. The next year would prove to be the suc-
cess Henry was hoping for and several chicks
were raised and Henry became the rst to ever
raise Prairie Falcons in captivity. His success
and captive breeding experiences, especially at
feeding whole six week old chicks, would help
many future falcon breeders also become suc-
cessful. It was one of the high points in Henry’s
falconry experiences but unfortunately would just
precede his greatest tragedy. On a spring vaca-
tion, without Henry, the family car struck a bridge
abutment and Henry’s wife Betty was killed. The
Kendall family would never be the same. Henry’s
falconry career declined the next several years,
the house was eventually sold and the breeding
falcons given back to the owners.
However, Henry never completely left falconry
and kept one or two birds when he was able to
construct a small mews. One of Henry’s more fa-
mous hawks was Whitey, an albinistic red-tailed
hawk, he obtained in the late 60’s. Originally
obtained from the St. Louis Zoo where she was
brought in as a rescued chicken. Henry became
the only falconer to ever y a white red-tailed
hawk in falconry. She lived for 36 years and is
now at the Archives of Falconry in Boise, Idaho.
Henry married again in the late 70’s and with his
wife Anita raised three more daughters. During
Henry’s later life he kept a Gyrfalcon and would
often go hawking with the falconers in the St.
Louis area always enjoying the hunting and fel-
lowship. Henry passed away at his home in
Chestereld, Missouri on December 5
, 2007.
His contributions to falconry were signicant and
he made many friends during his 85-year journey
that will remember him for many years.
(Authors personal note): I met Henry and
Betty in 1968 when I moved to St. Louis after col-
lege and they were great hosts and friends while
I was learning falconry. I enjoyed several dinners
with the entire family. Betty’s death in April 1969
was devastating to everyone and many changes
were made. I spent that summer at Henry’s
house often staying for late visits and wine on the
large back porch. I was even with Henry during
the Apollo moon landing that summer. I met my
future wife Vicki in the fall of 1969 and we also
had some enjoyable evenings at the Kendall’s
house. Our lives would occasionally crisscross
over the next 30 years and we would pick up
with our lives again. He was a good friend to me
throughout the years and I always enjoyed the
times we were able to spend time together.
Henry Cochran Kendall
Kendall, Henry Cochran 85, died peacefully at
his home in Chestereld, MO on Wednesday,
December 5, 2007, surrounded by his loving
wife, Anita and children. He was preceded in
death by his rst wife, Elizabeth Conant Ken-
dall and daughter Faith. He is survived by
children Elizabeth, Judson, Harry, Mardi, Sam,
Jessica, Jennifer Jaimee; and grandchildren
Luke, Judson, Gwynnedd, Alexandra, Sara,
Benjamin. Because of his longstanding dedi-
cation to animals during his lifetime, the fam-
ily requests that, in lieu of owers, donations
be sent to: The Animal Protective Association
of Missouri, 1705 S. Hanley, St. Louis, MO
63144, or The Archives of Falconry, World
Center for Birds of Prey, 5668 W. Flying Hawk
Lane, Boise, ID 83709.
Services will be private. Condolences can be
shared at: www.stlouis
St. Louis Post Dispatch
Frank Serra with European Goshawk and Henry Kendall with ‘Whitey’, an albinistic
Red-tailed Hawk at a NAFA Field Meet in South Dakota.
Newly hatched captive-bred Prairie Falcon, April 1967
Don Hunter, Frank Beebe, Henry Kendall
Top L-R: Gary and Giselle Meyers, Sally and Mike Melvill, Heidi and Erich Awender;
Bottom L-R: Henry and Betty Kendall, Frank Serra (at the Kendall’s home, ca. 1967)