Former headteacher lived life to the full

Former headteacher Francis Kendall who has died at the age of 97.

Former headteacher Francis Kendall who has died at the age of 97.

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A former headteacher has died at the age of 97.

Mr Francis Kendall, who was known as Frank, spent 19 years at the former St George's RC primary in Nelson where he became headteacher.

He later became head at Holy Saviours' RC Primary School in the town for six years until his retirement in 1982.

Devoted to his job, Mr Kendall was originally from Blackburn and trained for the teaching profession at St Mary's College in Twickenham.

Four weeks after qualifying in 1940 he was called up to the army and saw active service with both the King's Liverpool Regiment and the Sixth Armoured Division in Egypt, India, Italy and Austria.

Before he was demobbed, Mr Kendall, who rose to the rank of sergeant, spent time helping with the rehabilitation of soldiers and he also used his newly acquired skills to teach them Maths and English.

A devout Catholic, Mr Kendall met his wife, Eileen on a walking holiday and the couple celebrated their Diamond wedding in 2009 just two years before her death. They loved holidaying at various destinations in the UK where they made a point of visiting a variety of notable gardens.

The couple had lived in Burnley for over 30 years and Mr Kendall, a grandfather of eight, was a keen photographer and former member of Nelson Camera Club where he was exhibitions' secretary for many years. He was also an active member of the Catholic Fund For Overseas Development.

Even after his retirement Mr Kendall continued teaching on a voluntary basis at the former Primrose Special School in Burnley well into his 80s.

Mr Kendall's daughter, Margaret, said: "My dad was a true gentleman and very caring and family orientated and he kept fit and active to the end.

"He really did live life to the full."

Technology aware, Mr Kendall's four children bought him a computer for his 80th birthday and he loved keeping up to date with all the latest developments.

Mr Kendall's funeral will be held on Thursday (March 23rd) at St John the Baptist RC Church in Ivy Street, Burnley, at 10am followed by burial at All Soul's Cemetery in Barrowford.