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Ricky Allen Kendall

Memorial for Ricky Allen Kendall

Born in Jefferson, North Carolina on Mar. 8, 1961
Departed on Mar. 18, 2014 and resided in Oak Ridge, TN.
Visitation: Saturday, Mar. 22, 2014
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Celebration of Life: Saturday, Mar. 22, 2014
7:00 pm
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.

Ricky Allen Kendall, age 53, of Oak Ridge, died Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville.
He was born March 8, 1961, in Jefferson, North Carolina, the son of Charles and Ola Jean Shepherd Kendall. The family moved to Indiana soon after, living in a handful of places before settling in Rush County in 1972. It was here that Ricky earned his reputation as a farm boy until he left for Indiana State University in Terre Haute in 1979. He graduated magna cum laude from Indiana State in 1983 before undertaking graduate studies at the University of Utah, where he was awarded the PhD in 1988 for his work in computational quantum chemistry. After a short stint of postdoctoral training at Argonne National Laboratory, he took up a staff scientist position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 1989. During his tenure at PNNL Ricky received a number of awards, chief among them a highly prestigious R&D 100 Award in 1999 for his work on the Molecular Science Software Suite, a set of software tools that is still used today by hundreds of scientists to perform cutting-edge research. Ricky moved to Ames Laboratory in Iowa in 1999, where he was a key member of the Scalable Computing Laboratory for several years. While at Ames Lab, Ricky was a 2004 recipient of an Outstanding New Professional Award from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at Iowa State University. In 2005, he moved to Oak Ridge National Laboratory to become the founding leader of the Scientific Computing Group at the National Center for Computational Sciences. His considerable technical ability and his natural affinity for people helped him to assemble an array of computational scientists from several scientific fields, forming a group whose makeup and structure have been copied by major supercomputing centers worldwide. In recognition of this achievement and the trust he engendered in his team members, he was named Group Leader of the Year by UT-Battelle in 2011. He led the group he built until being named Chief Computational Scientist at NCCS in 2011. In keeping with his varied scientific interests, Ricky was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the IEEE Computer Society.

Ricky was also a passionate educator, serving as adjunct faculty at both Washington State University and Iowa State University. He instructed and mentored many graduate and undergraduate students throughout his distinguished career, and many of his trainees continue to work in the field.

Aside from his professional pursuits, Ricky enjoyed camping, outdoor cooking, fishing, and coaching youth bowlers in the Oak Ridge USBC. Fundamentally, Ricky enjoyed sharing his life with others, and his gregariousness and sincere concern for his fellow human beings made an indelible impression on everyone he met. Most of all, he was a husband and father, and loving and caring for his family was his reason for being and his greatest joy.

He is survived by his wife, Angie Mikkelsen Kendall, with whom he would have celebrated 23 years of marriage on June 1st; sons, Phillip Kendall, a senior at Oak Ridge High School and Zach Kendall, a freshman; brother, Phillip Kendall of Rushville, IN; and sister, Pam Kendall of Las Vegas.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, March 22, 2014, from 5–7 p.m. at Weatherford Mortuary in Oak Ridge, TN. A celebration of his life will follow at 7pm. The family encourages everyone to dress casually for these remembrances, as Ricky would have wished. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, non-deductible gifts be made to the Oak Ridge Youth Bowlers. Make checks payable to ORUSBC Youth and mail to Oak Ridge Bowling Center, 246 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37830. An on-line guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.
See Rock Stars of HPC: Ricky Kendall at


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