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In Memoriam: Robert Gray Kuykendall

Wednesday, February 28, 2018  
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Robert Gray Kuykendall, former National Office Machine Dealers Association (NOMDA; now Business Technology Association [BTA]) president, died on Feb. 20, 2018. He was 87.

"Bob" "Little Robert" "Bobby Gray" was born on Sept. 29, 1929, at Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene, Texas. He graduated from Abilene High School in 1947 and attended Wayland Baptist College in Plainview, Texas, and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. Kuykendall met his wife Margaret ("Margie") in high school and they married in April 1950. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Kuykendall worked for his father as a typewriter mechanic during his school years and then entered the family business, Kuykendall Business Systems. He purchased the business in 1958 and was its owner until 1998, when Kuykendall and his wife retired. He and Margie worked side by side for more than 40 years.

Kuykendall served as president of NOMDA from 1975-76 and held many other positions in NOMDA through the years. He was a Rotarian since 1954, serving as president in 1977-78, as well as secretary and assistant district governor twice. Kuykendall was also named a Paul Harris Fellow in 1982 and Rotarian of the year in 1999. He was involved in many community organizations, from volunteering to holding board positions, including Scout Master, Meals on Wheels, Friends of Abilene State Park, AARP Safe Driving, West Texas Photographic Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement, West Texas Rehab Telethon, Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, Abilene Motor Sports, Abilene Regional Airport Board, Church boards and many others. Kuykendall and his wife taught children's Sunday school for many years at St. Paul United Methodist Church, as well as Central United Methodist Church in Brownwood, Texas. he sang in the church choir until just a few years ago. Kuykendall and his wife were active members of Aldersgate and the Renewers Sunday school class for the past 12-plus years.

He was larger than life and loved to tell jokes, was a talented amateur photographer and enjoyed traveling in his RV. Kuykendall loved all the "little-children people." He had a passion for Abilene and continued to promote it to everyone he met. More than anything, Kuykendall loved his family with all his heart. He always said that he was "the luckiest man in the world" to have the love of his life, Margie, by his side.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Margaret; his two daughters, Peggy Taylor and her husband, Ed, and Patricia Stephens and her husband Buddy; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren, plus one on the way. Kuykendall is also survived by his brother, John Kuykendall and his wife Carol; his sister-in-law, Martha Fleming; and seven nephews and nieces.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers and friends who have loved and supported them in the last few months and years.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Abilene.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Friends of Abilene State Park, Abilene Rotary RYLA, Meals on Wheels or Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Willed Body Program. Tax-deductible donations in his memory can also be made to the BTA Scholarship Foundation. Mail checks to: Business Technology Association, 12411 Wornall Road, Ste. 200, Kansas City, MO 64145.

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