By Sidney Monroe
Kendyl K. Monroe passed away on November 14, 2016, in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 80. He is survived by his three sons: Sidney, Dean, and Loren, and his five grandchildren: Veronica, Henry, Keenan, Devon, Miles, and Linden.
A man of insatiable curiosity, leadership, and willingness to make a difference, Kendyl’s extraordinary life included a highly successful law practice, an avid passion for genealogy, being an airplane owner and recreational pilot, a strong commitment to education, and generous support for organizations advancing public health, historic preservation, music, and theater. He was also a global traveler, making trips to both the North and South Poles and the Galapagos Islands; he particularly enjoyed
fishing trips with his sons north of the Arctic Circle. He published two books: Small Worlds and Highlands Forests: Historical Sketches of Our Lands.
Kendyl was born on September 6, 1936 in the remote prairie town of Clayton in Northeastern New Mexico. He attended Stanford University (A.B. 1958 cum laude) and Stanford Law School (L.L.B. 1960). While at Stanford, he married his first love, Barbara Ann Sayre, whom he met in high school, in 1956. They were married for 56 years, until her passing in 2012.
Kendyl joined the prominent Wall Street law firm Sullivan & Cromwell in 1960, where he focused on national and international tax law, and became a partner on January 1, 1968.
Soon after moving to New York, Kendyl and Barbara bought and restored a brownstone in Greenwich Village, originally built in 1866, where they raised their sons. Kendyl was passionate about service, a quality he learned from his father. Among his favorite activities were serving as President of the Clan Munro Association and on the boards of the off-Broadway Lamb’s Theatre, The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, the Public Health Research Institute, and the New York Chamber Soloists Orchestra.
Kendyl also helped organize the Highlands Forest Partnership in 1968, which purchased and preserved the natural conditions of a large tract of timberlands, streams, lakes, and mountains in the Adirondack Park. He and Barbara built a camp-style house on the property where he enjoyed splitting firewood, rebuilding rock walls, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing.
Kendyl retired from Sullivan & Cromwell in 1994. He and Barbara built and moved to an adobe home on Barbara’s family’s historical Sayre Ranch located 40 miles northwest of Clayton. Kendyl spent his days fully restoring many natural stone houses and undertaking land improvements as well as managing cattle and horses.
In 2010, Kendyl and Barbara relocated to Bethesda, Maryland, to be closer to their children when Barbara’s health began to decline.
A celebration of life is being planned for January 6, 2017, in New York City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Kendyl Monroe to the Clayton Rotary Club (checks written to: Christmas Basket Fund; P.O. Box 548, Clayton, NM 88415) or the Albert W. Thompson Memorial Library (checks written to: Town of Clayton with ‘Library’ in the memo section; 1 Chestnut Street, Clayton, NM 88415).