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Shivah set for former publishing executive Philip Kendall

Shivah will be observed this weekend for Philip J. Kendall, 85, a former publishing company owner who died Wednesday, Dec. 17, in Florida.

Philip J. Kendall
Philip J. KendallRead more

Shivah will be observed this weekend for Philip J. Kendall, 85, a former publishing company owner who died Wednesday, Dec. 17, in Florida.

The Kendall family will sit shivah after 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, and after 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, at his residence in Center City Philadelphia.

Mr. Kendall, the former president of Packard Press, and companion Francine Freedman, 80, from Akron, Ohio, were struck and killed by a car near their new home in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The accident is under investigation.

Mr. Kendall lived "a fulfilling life personally, professionally, and philanthropically," his family said in a remembrance. "His greatest joy was spending time with his family - his inspiration, heart, and soul."

Mr. Kendall's guiding philosophy was "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today," his family said.

Sam Katz, the businessman, politician, and filmmaker, said: "Phil was a huge personality, a successful business leader who experienced the highs and lows with calm and brilliance.

"He deeply loved his family and was the most loyal friend anyone could have. He might well have been the greatest grandfather ever. And he had a great passion for all things Philadelphia."

A native Philadelphian schooled here, Mr. Kendall served as a special agent in the Army Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War.

Mr. Kendall owned Packard Press and published the Legal Intelligencer from a building at 10th and Spring Garden Streets. In its heyday, the firm employed 400 people in Philadelphia. The company published the Intelligencer, a daily newspaper for lawyers; the Pennsylvania Law Journal-Reporter; and financial information for publicly traded corporations.

He sold the firm to Curtis Publishing Co., then bought it back in 1969. He resold the company in 1978 to the Basix Corp. of New York and stayed on as chairman until June 1987, when he was let go by the parent company. Then 58, Mr. Kendall would not discuss the circumstances surrounding his firing.

He also was chairman and chief executive of Global Financial Press, and chairman and owner of GCOM2 Solutions, a firm that provided software and administration services to the investment management industry. Mr. Kendall sold the company in 2008 to Bowne & Co Inc.

Mr. Kendall was vice chairman of the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation; past president of Adelphi Lodge B'nai B'rith and the B'nai B'rith Greater Philadelphia Council; past chairman of the Metropolitan Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League; and former trustee of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park.

He was a former board member of Graduate Hospital and a member of the Union League of Philadelphia. He helped found and support the National Museum of American Jewish History.

Mr. Kendall was well known for his willingness to mentor and assist anybody who requested help. He was fun, loving, energetic, impeccably dressed, and upbeat.

"He was the quintessential people person," his family said. "He will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him."

Mr. Kendall was married for 57 years to Bunny Kendall, who died in 2012.

Surviving are a son, Richard; a daughter, Iris K. Berkowitz; six grandchildren; and a great-grandchild.

A graveside service Friday was private.