"And we would tell him, 'You don't need to cry! We just want you to turn in your work.' And he'd be like, 'I'm so sorry.' He really was such a deep thinker even if he didn't look like it, because he was so jolly. He had this joy that shone through."
Sr. Loretta Gerk was another teacher who knew Kendrick while he was a student at Notre Dame Catholic School - she taught him in physical education classes, from Kindergarten through eighth grade.
"He was the neatest kid," Gerk told CNA. "He was so kind and gentle, but yet, he was all boy too, you know what I mean?"
Gerk said that she would sometimes worry about the kind and gentle students, because they could be prone to teasing. But no one ever teased or made fun of Kendrick - he was just too likeable, she said.
"Kids are sometimes cruel to each other," she said. "But the kids weren't mean to him. You couldn't be mean to him."
"If any little kids were crying or something, he would go talk to them. He would reach out to them. He would notice those things," Gerk said.
Gerk said when she found out Kendrick had died in the shooting, her heart and her stomach hurt. When she found out he had died trying to rush the shooter, she thought: "That doesn't surprise me at all."
A hunter who loved his elk hunting trips with his father, Kendrick's familiarity with gun safety may have given him additional courage when he rushed the shooter, Gerk said.
Not only was Kendrick kind in school, but he was also a very helpful and active person at church, Gerk recalled. He would often tag along with his dad to Knights of Columbus events, Gerk said. He would usher at Mass with his dad on Saturday nights, and help serve breakfast with the Knights of Columbus during Catholic Schools week.
"Kendrick would be in the kitchen, and he had a blue apron that said 'Knights of Columbus.' Kendrick was in there with his dad, helping," she said.
Cece Bedard knew Kendrick because her dad, too, was in the Knights of Columbus. In a message to CNA, Bedard said that Kendrick "loved his faith and he really loved to serve others."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
It was not just that Kendrick did one heroic act, Bedard said, but "he lived the life of a hero, always helping others to the point where I'm not quite sure what he did for himself."
He loved his Catholic faith, Bedard said, and once told her when they were young that although he couldn't picture himself being a priest, he thought "the way of life (of a priest) was simply beautiful."
"He truly was a living saint," Bedard said.
Deacon Chuck Parker knew Kendrick at Notre Dame parish, where he remembers him as an altar server and a young usher, and a favorite greeter at the doors of the church.
"If anybody could exemplify a minister of hospitality it was Kendrick," Parker said. "Even at such a young age, he was always very kind and compassionate, very engaging with people…people loved coming in and being greeted by Kendrick."
"You hear a lot of people say that he was really a good kid," Parker said. "And he was really a good kid, he just really was."