We lost a good one. Edward L. Kuykendall passed away yesterday at the age of 85. I only knew Mr. Ed while a member of Watonala Lodge. Mr. Ed always enjoyed a good laugh, and when I was younger it was popular to tell “Chuck Norris” jokes like: Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn’t dead; it’s just too scared to move. Therefore, I’ll start out by stating that Chuck Norris must not need a mentor any more since Mr. Ed has gone to heaven. Each youngster who took the opportunity to sit across the table from him was regaled with his stories of bygone times, adventure, and wisdom. Every time I found the time to lend him my ear, I learned I barely knew him. You see, Mr. Ed was a Marine for 22 years. He served as John F. Kennedy’s presidential pilot on Marine One, risked his life for the sake of other’s in Vietnam, and was the recipient of three Purple Hearts, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and two Silver Stars.
Outside of being a Marine, he served his community both as an entrepreneurial business man, Scouter, and churchgoer. He served as a Scoutmaster, Lodge Adviser, Commissioner, and Executive Board Member. He started one of the first overseas scout troops for American boys in Iwakuni, Japan which is still active today. If he knew the Lodge had an event, and he was able, he was there! Ed lived a life full of accolades and accomplishments. However, his service to others has been his trademark. He was a devoted father and husband. The way his eye twinkled when he spoke of Francis, his wife, let you know she was indeed the love of his life. A few years ago, all of Ed’s sons were able to attend OA Conclave with him. I can say he literally glowed with joy! He was so excited to share the OA, Conclave, and Scouting again with all of his sons together!
It’s hard for me to place a title on what my relationship was with Ed, but since we are bonded by the Order of the Arrow, I can definitely call him a brother. It’s hard to call a man more than 50 years older than you a brother, especially one as accomplished as Mr. Ed. There were several times he went out of his way to single me out and tell me how proud he was of me and how great of a job he thought I was doing. I can’t tell you what I did to deserve the praise, but when a man like Ed Kuykendall tells you you’re doing something right, keep doing it! Mr. Ed, I’ll do my best… Godspeed! - Brice Stubbs, Lodge Adviser
Details regarding Mr. Ed's visitation and funeral will be added to this article once his family has shared them.
Watonala Lodge recently recognized Mr. Ed with Watonala's first ever Lifetime Achievement Award, henceforth it will be given to future recipients in Ed's name. If you would like to view the video we presented at Conclave you may do so by clicking here.
ADDITION: The visitation will be at 1pm and the service will be at 2 pm at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbus, MS. Graveside will follow at Friendship Cemetery. Mr. Ed's obituary can be viewed here: http://www.memorialfuneral.net/mobile/obituaries-details.cfm?o_id=2609797&fh_id=10347#obituaries