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Bettye Jean Kendall

July 13, 1940 — December 23, 2023

Hayward, CA

Bettye Jean Kendall

On December 23, 2023, Bettye Jean Kendall peacefully passed away in her sleep at home. She was 83 years old. Bettye was the proud mother of 4 children. Her greatest love was her family, and those she considered family.

Bettye’s early life wasn’t easy. Her Mother never wanted her and tried to end her life before it began. Thankfully, she failed and Bettye was born on July 13, 1940 in Bakersfield CA. Bettye was raised by her Grandparents, Effie and William Hale; these were the happiest times of Bettye’s early life. Grandma Hale’s death during Bettye’s freshman year lead to Bettye moving in with her father and step-mom, James and Lorraine Hale. Lorraine was not a loving compassionate woman; her life lessons were harsh and bitter. Summers were best, as Bettye spent those with Grandpa Hale. He always had a great garden and they would make Salsa and Apricot and Pineapple Jam. If they weren’t gardening, they were going Deep Sea fishing.    

After graduating from Oakland High in 1957, Bettye wed Ron Kiepke. They had a son (Chris) and a daughter (Teresa). Marriage didn’t come easy for Bettye. Her first marriage ended in divorce.  Bettye met and married Arthur Haegely, they had a daughter (Vikki). A year later, Bettye found herself a single mother again. Bettye was never a poor-me type of person. Bettye faced adversity head-on and fought her own way. She was a survivor and warrior.

In 1969, Bettye met her prince charming in Archie “Lee” Kendall Jr. She tried to resist him, by moving to Texas! However, Lee was persistent and followed her. They wed that year and had a daughter (Mary) the following year. They were married 52 years at Lee’s passing in March, 2021

Bettye worked various jobs over the years, including waitress, bartender, Cosmetologist, sales representative, clerical worker, office manager and apartment manager. 

Bettye’s passion was her family. She loved being with her husband, kids and their friends. For years they spent two weeks in the Redwoods. Living in tents, cooking over an open fire, spending days hiking, fishing and swimming. Many memories were also made on Lake McClure, and at the Sacramento Delta. You could find the family on the lake or rivers most weekends, beginning with Memorial Day until Labor Day weekend. Bettye was happiest with a fishing pole in her hand, sun on her face, her feet in the water and the family at her side. 

Bettye made every birthday and holiday special for the family. It was a time to gather, talk, laugh and eat. Every meal was a feast! The house was always decorated for each event, warm and inviting. Bettye was compassionate, loving, and nurturing. Friends were always welcome and made to feel like family. Many of the kids’ friends called her Mom. She loved each of them and considered them one of her kids. She had many pets over the years, she loved and adored each one.

Bettye was an avid reader, who loved to crochet, and enjoyed cooking. Family favorites include her fried chicken, chicken fried steak, chicken and dumplings, ham and beans, and peach cobbler.  Bettye always made sure the kitchen was stocked and had plenty of snacks. She was one who never turned down a cold Coke, an Abba-Zabba bar, or an old-fashioned hamburger. Her favorite flowering plant was a Gardenia. The smell of Honeysuckle reminded her of her beloved Grandmother. Fishing made her feel close to her cherished Grandpa. Jesus Loves Me was the first song she learned in church. 

Bettye was predeceased by her parents James and Alice Hale, brothers Robert and Wilbert O’Neal, and her loving husband of 52 years, Archie Lee Kendall Jr.  Bettye is survived by her son William Christian “Chris” Kiepke, three daughters Teresa “Sissy” Martin (Kiepke), Vikki Romero (Haegely), and Mary Kendall.  Bettye was blessed with five grandchildren, Effie Christian (Kiepke), Brandy Kiepke, Chason Perkins, Robert Romero and Anthony Kiepke. Additionally, blessed with eight great-grandchildren, Audrey and Jade Romero, Yvette Heinicke, Summer and Ricardo Guerra, Mason and Reese Perkins, Achilles Kiepke. 



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