In Memoriam: Kendall S. Thomas, Sr.

Kendall S. Thomas, Sr., a prominent public employee retirement sector figure, died on Oct. 11, 2023. He was a longtime member of the Texas Association of Public Employee Retirement Systems, including serving as a former board member. 

Kendall S. Thomas, Sr. 

Thomas commenced his public service career as the Assistant Police Chief of the Austin Police Department, retiring in December 1985. However, his most enduring contributions were yet to come.

In 1980, Thomas assumed a pivotal role in retirement systems when he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Austin Police Retirement System. His involvement marked a transformative moment, instrumental in establishing the system as an independent entity separate from the City of Austin's administration.

Kendall served as Chairman of the Board for an extended period, guiding the organization through periods of expansion and innovation. He and his wife, Ann, were passionate advocates for public employees' financial security and actively participated in conferences and events on behalf of the Austin Police Retirement System.

Kendall's vision extended beyond the confines of Texas. He was a trailblazer advocating for diversifying the pension fund's assets, a practice now recognized as fundamental to successful retirement systems. His expertise also extended nationally as he became a renowned expert in using timber farms as a vital element of investment philosophy.

After dedicating 25 years to the Austin Police Retirement System Board, Kendall retired in 2005. His service was acknowledged by naming the Fund's headquarters in his honor alongside Chesley Wood.

In remembrance of Thomas, visitation will be held at Harrell Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20, located at 4435 Frontier Trail in Austin. Funeral services will occur at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. Following the funeral service, a graveside ceremony will be held at Oakwood Annex, 1600 Comal Street.


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