Father John J. (“Hex”) Kindall, SJ, longtime high school teacher / principal and pastor in schools and parishes throughout the Pacific Northwest, died August 25, 2018 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, California. He was 91 years of age, a Jesuit for 74 years, and 61 years a priest.
Universally known to his friends as “Hex” for his skill in composing Latin poetry in hexameters, John was born in Seattle, February 7, 1927, one of seven children of Edwin and Mary Kindall. After graduation from Seattle Prep in 1944, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Oregon, to begin studies for the priesthood. He earned his degrees in Philosophy from Gonzaga University and taught Latin and Greek classics at Bellarmine Prep, Tacoma (1951-54) before starting theological studies at Alma College, Los Gatos, California. He was ordained a priest in St. Aloysius Church, Spokane, in 1957.
Hex’s ministry was almost equally divided between the high school and the parish. He taught Latin and math at Jesuit High School, Portland (1959-70), served as principal at Seattle Prep (1970-73) and Catholic Central High School, Billings, Montana (1974-77), and as director of religious education at Regis Jesuit High in Colorado (1973-74).
From 1977 until the late 1990s, he was a dedicated pastor or administrator at churches in Vale, Oregon, Missoula, Montana, Lewiston, Idaho, Vancouver, Washington, and Yamhill, Oregon. In 1998 he moved to the Jesuit Novitiate in Portland, as senior priest. His last years were spent in a ministry of prayer, first at Regis Community, Spokane (2006-15) and at Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, where he was an avid bridge player and a gentle presence in the infirmary.
Many years ago, when asked about his future, Hex responded that he hoped he would accept diminishment with equanimity and give an example of cheerfulness, kindness, and patience, and be remembered as “one who loved the brethren” and was a “good community man.” He was that and much more.
Hex was predeceased by his siblings and is survived by many nephews and nieces.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, September 7, 2018, 10:00 am, at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, 300 College Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95030, with inurnment immediately following Mass at 11:30 am. There will be no public vigil service.
Donations in memory of Fr. Kindall may be made to Jesuit West Province, P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031 or to a charity of your choosing.