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Elizabeth Ann Kendall, who worked at the budget department of Oakland University, died on Aug. 30 at the age of 55.
Kendall battled ovarian cancer for more than three years, and recently, the effort left her weaker and needing more care. Her spouse Torii Hamilton took family leave to stay home and care for Kendall and was always at her side, even in the hospital.
When Kendall came home from the hospital on Aug. 29, she was happy to be back in her own house, with the comfort of her cats and familiar surroundings. She saw her sister Mary, niece Hannah and great-niece Raquelle that afternoon. The next morning, she awoke and talked normally and calmly with Hamilton and then, shortly after, at 7:40 a.m., made her transition peacefully, with Hamilton by her side.
Kendall was born in Mason, Mich. and raised in Mio, Mich. – her true hometown. She graduated from Mio AuSable High School, Central Michigan University and obtained an MBA from Oakland University. She worked in the budget department of Oakland University for a time, as well as West Chester University in Pennsylvania, but later settled back in Michigan and became the director of budget and finance at Oakland Community College for more than 13 years.
Kendall is survived by her mother, Ruth Kendall (Marsh), Hamilton and five siblings: John, Bob (Kathy), Fred, Mary (Tim Miller) and Bill (Laura), along with many nieces, nephews and other beloved relatives.
Preferring to be known as “Beth,” Kendall came out in 1996 and threw herself headlong into enjoying life while being true to herself. She joined the Women’s Rap group at Affirmations and met many of her long-time friends there. Kendall loved to dance and often danced well into the wee hours with her friends. She also loved good conversation, a rousing game of cards, great books and things that challenged or stimulated her mind. She could do the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle in a single afternoon without cheating.
Kendall met Hamilton as part of the Affirmations “Women’s Rap” group in 1996.
In 2003, when Ontario announced it would be honoring same-sex marriages – and it happened on Kendall’s birthday – she took it as a sign that it was time and proposed to Hamilton. The two were married just outside Niagara Falls on July 4, 2003 with their best buddies as witnesses. Kendall and Hamilton had almost 11 blissful years together.
Hamilton wanted all her family and friends to know that it is important to live each day as a gift – and to spend as much time with each other as possible. The most important things in life are our family and friends, so spend as much time with them as you can.
The memorial service for Beth Kendall was held on Sept. 10 at Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit in Ferndale.
Kendall supported many organizations, among them Affirmations, Gilda’s Club-Metro Detroit, REGAP (greyhound rescue) and the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park. She believed in giving back and helping others and, family and friends say, would have encouraged those who wish to express well-wishes to donate to one of these organizations – or to one of their own choosing.