Darke County Genealogical Researchers > List Memorials Page > Susan Haines Kendall

Susan Kay (Haines) Kendall

November 5, 1952-April 22, 2005

"Dear Susan, You have been a part of our online Darke County community for many years. During that time, you set the standard of what a true genealogical researcher can be. As we see by the comments of Fabian Doles below, your touch even spanned the Great Atlantic. We will all strive to be more like you in sharing with and helping others. In your honor, we are dedicating the upcoming ListFest, to be held on June 18, 2005, to the Memory of Susan Kendall."

Picture taken at the 2004 ListFest

In Memory Of Susan Kendall who passed away April 22, 2005. Susan was a driving force in the genealogy of Darke and Preble County families and was a charter member of the Darke County Genealogical Society. She always gladly shared her extensive database and knowledge of area families with anyone who had an interest. One of Susan's last and greatest projects is the "Genealogical & Historical Records of Preble County, Ohio" which is available on the Preble County District Library website. We will all dearly miss her quick wit, boundless enthusiasm, and her leadership.

Loving Peace be with You, Susan.
From the DCO List

Dayton Daily News, Sunday, April 24, 2005

Susan Kay (Haines) Kendall - Age 52 of Eaton, Ohio, died Friday, April 22, 2005 at 3:13 P.M. at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio, due to injuries sustained from a motorcycle accident. She was born November 5, 1952 in Greenville, Ohio and was a lifelong resident of Darke and Preble Counties. She is preceded in death by her mother, Lucille Z. (Delk) Haines, and an infant brother, Steven Haines. She is survived by her husband of 18 years, Patrick Kendall, her father, Kenneth Haines of Arcanum, Ohio, 2 brothers, David Haines of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Michael Haines of Roselle, Illinois. Susan graduated from Arcanum High School in 1971, earned a BS in education at Wright State University in 1977 and a MLS (Master of Library Science) at Ball State University in 1981. She worked at the Greenville, Ohio Public Library, 1971-1977; Flesh Public Library, Piqua, Ohio 1977-1978; Amos memorial Library, Sidney, Ohio 1978-1981, in 1981 she became the Director for the Preble County District Library. She was a member of the Technology Task Force the Ohio Public Libraries InfoOhio Network, 1993-95; Board of Directors, 1995; editor of the PCGS newsletter, Preble Pride, 1986-; Board of Directors, Preble County Historical Society, 2000- ; Member of the American Library Association and Southwest Chapter of DLA; Commodore Preble NSDAR; Preble County Genealogy Society and Eaton/Preble County Chamber of Commerce. During her 24 years as director, she was instrumental in bringing the Internet to Preble County and coordinated the modernization and expansion of the library's seven branches as well as a new location for Genealogy Center and office. Her passion for gathering and sharing information was also expressed through a countrywide partnership between the PCDL and the libraries in all the school districts. From the mid-1990's until now, with the final school in progress, she has worked and succeeded to unite this extensive database. A celebration of Susan's life will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2005 at 10:00 A.M. at the Trinity Methodist Church at 112 West South Street, Arcanum, Ohio, with pastor Kay Hatch officiating. Burial will follow in Abbottsville Cemetery, Arcanum, Ohio. Susan's family will receive friends Tuesday, April 26, 2005 from 5 to 8 P.M. at Zechar Bailey Home, 1499 North Broadway, Greenville, Ohio. In lieu of flowers, her family request memorial contributions to the Susan Kendall Memorial Fund at the Preble County District Library, 450 South Barron Street, Eaton, Ohio 45320-2402.

When we first heard the tragic news of the accident, many many e-mails came from the list members offering thoughts and prayers for Patrick and Susan and their families. Our prayers for Patrick's recovery continue...

Tributes to Susan

If you would like to add a Tribute to Susan,
please send it to jane@dcoweb.org

Tributes to Susan from the online genealogical community:

We are heart broken at the tragic loss of Susan from our Darke County Genealogical Researchers group. She was such a giving person and was always willing to share whatever information she might have concerning her Darke County area families. Susan possessed such a wonderful, vibrant personality which will be greatly missed. Her presence was like that ray of sunshine that occasionally comes through on a dark day... She was witty, she was bright, and above all she was such a go-getter. Put a task before her and she would tackle it with great determination.

Every year Susan participated in our annual gathering which we call the ListFest. Pat came by one year so I'm sure that he is familiar with this event. Each year, Susan gathered books from the Preble County District Library to bring to the ListFest to assist researchers who do not have access to these publications. This was quite a physical feat as well as an act of giving. She and the Library are most appreciated for doing this for our gathering.

On a personal note, I got to know Susan through the five previous ListFests and the most recent "lock-in" at the PC room. I'm very thankful that I was able to attend that event. Toward the end of the evening after she had completed assisting the other participants, Susan and I were able to spend some time together looking through her extensive database. I had hoped that there would be many more opportunities such as this, but am thankful for the time that we were able to spend together.

I am a cataloger at the Indiana University Main Library in Bloomington, IN so I can well appreciate her numerous accomplishments in her chosen career of librarianship. She was one of those who "think out of the box" and was able to complete monumental tasks to forward the Preble County District Library. Her library is one which has embraced the technology of today and has become one of the most all-encompassing public libraries that I have seen. The entire county owes Susan a great debt of gratitude for her accomplishments on their behalf and her service to them.

She will be missed in so many areas of public and private life. Our hearts are with those whom she has left behind and our hopes are that you each will know how much she meant to those of us outside of the family.

Our Sincere Condolences,
Jane Barr Torres

Dear Group...

Deep sadness is felt among the many, many friends that Susan has touched in one way or another and her loss will be greatly felt among those in Darke County's Genealogical realm. Her touch was felt as far as California and beyond.

She had helped me out a lot and we became great friends these last few years. She just didn't leave this world with just a few friends, she left a whole circle of adopted family who she helped because she loved genealogy and Darke County. Her love for genealogy spread to other counties and states and many friends.

She will be surely missed by me and many others. She was an "Angel" among many........

Michael Reck

I like many have come to know and marvel at the dedication of Susan Kendall to helping others. I have had my quiet sessions in her back office at the Preble Co. Genealogy room as she patiently assisted in helping me down the right paths in my research.

It is good that we publicly grieve at the loss of Suzie. How fortunate that we had the years to know her; as she assisted us, came to the List Fests, and served as the Ambassador of Good Will from Preble County..

I turn to the words of the poet Edgar A. Guest who expresses my thoughts right now:

When sorrow binds his hands,
Helpless the strong man stands.
One master only grief
Bows to, and that's belief ---
Faith that he'll some day know
Why God hath willed it so!


A TRIBUTE TO "Susan Kendall"

Susan was a Charter Member of the Darke County Genealogical Society and was the third President serving from 1983 to 1987.

She was instrumental for the Darke County Genealogical Society's publication of "The Darke County Marriages from 1851-1898."

Susie was a great researcher and teacher. She did many extra things and spent extra hours for others. She helped many, many with their personal research and will be sadly missed.

Ruth Schieltz

To Susan Kendall's Family,

I did not have the pleasure of meeting Susan personally, but at different times throughout the passing years she has shared genealogical information with me concerning the many families of Darke and Preble Cos. that I was researching. I felt like she was a wonderful "cousin" to so many of us, as she helped me and others delve into records that we ourselves could not access due to unavailability and distance from the area. She was always there to help, to share, and to give what she could via the internet and the Darke County, Ohio Discussion List. I sent a card when I first heard of the accident, hoping that she would survive this ordeal and be able to read my expressed pleasure and gratitude that I experienced from her generosity. My heart is heavy knowing that you who knew her so well personally have lost a beloved family member or friend. Those of us who knew her via the internet have lost a true friend of the genealogist and family historian. Her dedication to her profession as researcher and librarian was without measure, as she reached out to help us in our quest. We were all blessed with her many acts of genealogical kindness.

Know that I am thinking of her family at this time of sorrow. You have my condolences and heartfelt sympathy.

Audrey (Lehmann-Shields) Hancock
Portage, Michigan

A few years ago I may have found it hard to believe that it would break my heart to learn of a cousin's death who is, well, I don't even know what number and how many times removed (Ethelred Delk is our common direct ancestor). I might have been surprised at how hard the tears fell when I read the e-mail that gave the sad news that she had passed away, considering the fact that that I never met her, never talked, and only personally shared maybe 10 e-mails (of course I read many more messages online in which she shared her knowledge). I would bet that anyone that knew Susan would not be surprised by my reaction at all, because even though I can't claim to have really known her, I knew her well enough that NOW this doesn't surprise me at all.

I would have liked to have met her. I could kick myself that I didn't make it to ListFest two years ago. I was signed up. My husband and I were on the GOBA bike ride, and I thought we'd be back to Greenville in plenty of time. That day I had a broken spoke that needed fixing before I could continue riding, luggage was buried with others that I had a hard time finding, and the lines for the showers were ridiculous. I gave up on the thought of making it to ListFest (stinky as I was), and decided I'd have to make it another year, and left for the 10 hour ride back to Wisconsin. This is obviously a tough lesson about putting things off.

I never really had to write to Susan and ask her much about our Delk line, because she had already shared so much online. I would touch base with her, and thank her, and share some family details. I'm very happy that a month ago I sent some pictures, and shared some confusing information about her distant cousins (my direct line). Of course she offered to help, which really wasn't what I meant to happen, mostly because I didn't think it was information that could be found anyway. I joked that maybe her mother would have something to say on the subject. I was referring to Susan's "In the Spirit of Halloween" e-mail which I still have in my inbox, and am forwarding. I wasn't being factitious, I completely believe that her mother was talking to her - I was just making light of the fact that I'm sure her mother had better things to do than solve my confusion...Susan said sometimes it gave her "the willies," but it fascinated me, and quite frankly I was envious, because I sure could use some guidance!!

I did think of Susan's mother when I heard of the motorcycle accident, and I hoped and prayed that her mother was talking to her and telling her that it wasn't her time to leave this world. I'm so sorry that it was. As I've learned from my father's death (he was only 41), it's hard not to think about what might have been. We need time to grieve. The sweet memories do come shining through, and I do try to be thankful for the time I did have.

My sincerest sympathy goes out to all who loved her. The genealogical community has lost a dear friend - we can only begin to imagine the loss that you are feeling.

Cheri Vanden Berg
Appleton, Wisconsin

This is Susan's wonderful "In the Spirit of Halloween" message

From: Susan Kendall
To: Darke
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 6:37 AM
Subject: DCO- In the Spirit of Halloween

I've never been one to consider that my ancestors would somehow guide my research. Sure, I've been known to stand at a tombstone and ask "who was your father" but never a response.

This all changed when my mother died. My mom knew everyone or knew someone who knew everyone in Darke County. Doing the 1970 Van Buren Twp. census took her longer than any census taker. She had to visit with everyone she knew or was related to. Amazingly she had all of this knowledge in her mind and could recall it (even when dementia started) with total clarity.

Since her death, in 1999, my genealogy skills and family knowledge have increased. Not that I became a better researcher, but I *know* it's been with her help.

Sometimes I'll be in my office looking at my database for holes to fill. Out of the blue I hear her (yes, hear her) give me a name of someone I knew or remember her speaking of. Like earlier this year she reminded me of "Mrs. Robeson."

The only thing I knew about her was that she lived at the Best Rest Home on Hogpath down the road from my house. My church youth group would visit each Wednesday and I would go down and play aggravation with "Mrs. Edwards." Mom told me we were related (didn't mean much to a 10 year old who heard the line 1000s of times). She also spoke of Mrs. Robeson in a tone which told me that Mrs. Robeson had terrible hardships in her life. So, I set out to find Mrs. Robeson.

3 hrs. later (with mom's help) I not only identified who "Mrs. Robeson" was but understood why mom spoke of her in that way. Mrs. Robeson's husband had died young leaving her with a large family to raise. And she was related on my dad's side!

There have been many times this communication has happened. It's seems that mom is wanting me to get on paper all the stuff she had in her memory (before it's gone). Sometimes I feel like she's leading me around by the nose. And, at times (when it gets to be 1 AM) have said "Ok, mom, enough! I've got to go to bed.!" Obviously my notion of our ancestors helping us has changed!

Susan H. Kendall, Director
Preble County District Library
450 S. Barron Street
Eaton, OH 45320
voice: 937-456-4250 - fax: 937-456-6092
eLibrary: http://www.pcdl.lib.oh.us/

As a member of the Darke County List I found Susan always helpful and considerate. Her innovative approach at the Preble county room and library web pages made everyone feel comfortable and at ease. She had a true understanding of customer satisfaction and went out of her way to provide help in any way she could. She freely shared her time and weekends with lock-ins and Listfest support. I appreciate you sharing her with us. She was a true friend and is missed by people all across the country with families from Darke and Preble Counties.

with deepest sympathy,
Becky Lamb, DCO List researcher.

I never personally met Susan, but watched as she helped many by e-mail both on the Darke County List and to myself personally. Genealogy is a great hobby and it seems you find many helpful people along the way. Susan Kendall went beyond just help, she took the time to place information out for many to find. She was kind and enjoyed chatting with you by e-mail. Words can not express the loss of such a kind person so I will just say " Susan" may you meet all those lost family ends in Heaven. Prayers go out to your family and we are going to miss you.

Norita Shepherd Moss
Ft. Myers, FL

I have been following the Susan Kendal comments that all of you have been sending in. I'm not sure I ever had the pleasure to have corresponded with Susan. I have tried to place using her service, as my search is from the greater Ohio area's that end in Greenville I may have had the opportunity to have come in contact with her. But with as many times as I have dearly counted on and appreciated (her kind of dedication to genealogy) to extend help to all of the outsiders researchers such as yourself and myself, I just wanted to say that she will will be sadly missed by all people that know her and don't know her as myself. A love of family research isn't just a hobby it is away of life and a labor of Love for the most of us. It is a 'love for preserving a part of our past ancestry and history of our country. I myself am a mere Historian of the Green Bay DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) for our chapter, I someday would love to be as knowledgeable as it takes to be a ibrarian with that kind of love for helping other researchers. And for that reason alone I wanted to add my comments along with the sending of a donation on her behalf to the address given. I would like to add the idea that with each donation given, we all should send a note of how librarians and dedicated people like Susan are a GOD-SEND to people researching. It just may tip the scales on the ones that make us feel like we are a pest or a bother to their job. I have dealt with both kinds and wear a heavy heart when I get back a negative response from some of them, and wonder how they ever landed a job in that field. Susan and many others including the volunteer's that do it for the love of it are awesome! They can really make the difference in our personal research results. God Bless Her and others like her.
Virginia Middleton Van

My direct contacts with Susan were few, but it was not hard to see how helpful she was to everybody. I suspect if one were to tally all the messages to the DCO genealogy list, she would be one of the leading contributors. Certainly she was the most consistent in offering help to others.

If you want a model for a librarian who strove to be helpful to library patrons -- and in a sense we on the DCO list were all her patrons -- you need look no further than Susan Kendall.

Karl Seitz
1212 30th St. South
Birmingham, Ala. 35205-1910

Thank you, Michael, for sharing Susan's obituary with us.

I'm sure some of you will be able to attend the services at the Funeral Home and/or Church and I hope you will convey to her family and friends and co-workers how much we appreciate all she did for us and that we will miss her presence on our computers and her eagerness to offer her knowledge in any way she could. May her soul rest in peace.


Dear Susan,

You have been a ray of Sunshine to many. You have always been there to help us in our search for information about our family. Susan was always willing to go the extra mile for anyone who asked her for help. There have been times that Librarians have made us feel so ignorant but never Susan. I could continue with the same stories but the main thing is Susan was a treasure for all of us. She will be missed by all of her Darke Co and Preble Co Ohio Genealogy E-Mail List buddies. Susan's family will continue to be in our Prayers.

Twila Costello

I informed the Delk researchers at www.DOLES.org

Hello Fabian,

I sadly inform you that Susan (Haines) Kendall, proud descendent of Ethelred Delk in Darke County, Ohio has passed away.

In Issue #9 of The Delk News, you wrote "And so I contacted Susan Kendall the "keeper" of the Ethelred Delk family tree. She provided me with 250 pages of Ethelred Delk's descendents comprising 1,325 individuals." That was so like Susie - she loved to share her family findings with others.

Thank you,
--Jane Barr Torres

Fabian Doles replied:

I too have never met Susan. Actually, I was passed on to her by Lyman & Lillie Delk, who introduced her to me as "the keeper" of the Ethelred Delk family history.

I too am interested in Delk genealogy and am the publisher of the DELK NEWS QUARTERTLY (DNQ) which is available for free at www.doles.org.

I have a list of Ethelred Delk researchers who recieve the DNQ and in there names would like to thank Susan not only for all her work, but for sharing it with others - Brian Delk, Cathy Franks OH, Cathy Mahon OH, James Daryl Delk CA, Jeff E. Delk, John Michael Delk CA, Joy Ann (Delk) Ferrenburg, Lyman & Lilly Delk GA, Mark Dickson VA, Rex R. Delk IA, Richard Allen "Dick" Delk, Rev. Tom Delk MD, Tom E. Stickler KY, Fabian Doles Germany.

On 12.08. 2003 Susan shared with me her database with 1290 descendants of Ethelred Delk. Since then I have been able to add 463 individuals to her file bringing the database up to 1753 individuals. I would like to keep her work alive and would appreciate anyone contributing information (births, deaths, marriages etc.).

Here a few excerpts from my correspondences with Susan which I feel reflects the type of person she was:

..."Lyman & Lillie are lovely people. Lyman only discovered 2 yr. ago that he had family here." ....

..."I am glad to share what I have, having done this 30 yr. (adult life)"...

..."Although I'm now in Preble Co. I am a Darke Countian."...

..."My mother, Zelda Lucille Delk Haines, repeatedly related her ancestry to me. Every Memorial Day I would decorate the graves of George W. Delk and my grt-grandfather Wm. Bennett Delk. And, her first cousin, Kenneth Finton, did much research (which he would not share). Although I have put in my research that Ethelred is prob. buried in Ft. Jefferson (per Ken Finton) I don't believe it. I think he and Nancy are more likely in Beamsville Cemetery since they had been living near/with their daughter Mary Beanblossom.

My mom's double first cousin, Elmer Delk, hired someone in NC to do research. From the census record only she felt that Ethelred was the son of a Jacob Delk in Johnston Co., NC. That is where the birth county location for Ethelred originated. Having grown up with "genealogy in my blood" I couldn't help but get into it."...

Susan, it is clear that you were a very special person, having touched the lives of so many others without even having actually met them. You will be missed by many untold souls.

Fabian Doles
Koln (Cologne), Germany


I was sad to hear of Susan's passing. I live in California, so am unable to research in Ohio. Susan kindly sent me material several times regarding my search for my GGGrandfather., John L.Thomas. It was a tremendous help to me, as I knew virtually nothing about him. I found many cousins through the info she provided. I know she has helped many others with her knowledge. She will be greatly missed by her many friends on the DCO List

My condolences to Susan's family and friends. May she fly with the Angels now.

Anita Thomas in California

Susan was a gem and a jewel. She was of great help to me locating my relatives in Preble County as well as Warren County. She will be missed.

Tom Hanes
Tucson AZ

I send my most sincere condolences to the Susan Kendall family and close friends. I am one of the many folks that have requested research assistance from afar and truely appreciate what a wonderful help she was. Responsive and professional are words that come to mind when I think of her. May she rest in peace. God Bless.

Roscoe Evans
Long Beach, CA

I am so sorry to hear about Susan's passing. I met her at the ListFest last year. What a cheerful and giving person! She was such a great source of information and ideas for those of us on the Darke County Genealogy List. We will really miss her frequent emails.

Marge Dellert
Duncanville, Texas

How shocked and saddened I was to learn yesterday of Susan's untimely death. Many years ago at the Eaton library, she introduced me to Linda Stephens which helped unpuzzle some of my Darke and Preble County past. And her latest project has solved a problem I had been working on for years. It is a benchmark for genealogical research. Susan may have been a cousin. My records now show a marriage of a Herbert F. Haines to Mamie Olive Stephens. If she is from this line then we are branches of the same tree.

My prayers and condolences to the family and the community for their loss and for speedy recovery for her husband.

Tom Ridpath

A few days after you departure from us my Aunt Hester left us to follow you to receive God's grace. May the Lord shine his contenence upon you both.

Job Winters, son of John, and grandson of Homer and Margaret.