Dr. Kendall Carnes Warden

February 20, 1959 - September 12, 2020

Dr. Kendall Carnes Warden, 61, passed away on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at her home in Durham. She was born in Alameda County, CA to her parents, Dr. Victor Carnes and Frieda Carnes.

Kendall was an exceptional woman. Her passionate nature was evident at an early age. As a young woman, she spent seven summers at Cheley Camp in Estes Park, CO, where she climbed more than fifteen mountains exceeding 14,000 feet. She shared her joyful spirit all four years of high school as a cheerleader, and she was a talented and caring equestrian. Kendall was one of five valedictorians of the graduating class of 1977 at Memorial High School in Joplin, MO. After graduation, she returned to Cheley as a counselor for young campers, a sign of the loving service she would devote to others throughout her life. She enrolled at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN to study education, and joined the Pi Beta Phi sorority where she met many of her lifelong friends. She continued to be a cheerleader for her first year at Vanderbilt, and she met her husband to be in 1980. She completed her degree in special education and graduated in May 1981, Magna Cum Laude. On August 7th, 1982, Kendall married her lifelong husband, Dennis, in Joplin, MO. Their marriage would last for 38 wonderful years.

Upon graduation, she began work as a special education teacher in Nashville at age 22. During her time as a teacher, she helped many students graduate who struggled with personal hardships. A favorite memory of hers was of one such student who never believed he would graduate. After working with Kendall for several years, he did graduate, and he got a job at a local restaurant. Kendall and her husband ate there on his first day of work, and when he saw her, he gave her a huge hug. After six years working with students and their families, she was frustrated that many were unable to get the medicine and mental health services they needed to succeed. At 28 years old, she decided to become a physician. In 1987, she enrolled in medical school at the University of Missouri at Columbia. In 1989, she did a one-year post sophomore fellowship in pathology and had her first son, Mark. In her final year of medical school, she gave birth to her second son, Nathan. She graduated in May 1992 with her Doctorate of Medicine. In 1993, she was licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina and proceeded to work in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke Hospital. She went on to do a three-year residency in general psychiatry and then an additional two-year residency in child and adolescent psychiatry. From 1997 to 2001, She treated countless patients both adults and children, some of whom were going through the darkest periods of their lives. She supported many in their secret battles. Due to patient doctor confidentiality, we will never know the extent of her work. Over the years, however, the cards and notes she received from her patients paint a picture of extraordinary kindness and care. In 2001, she left Duke to focus on her family. She helped her family move into their current home and focused on supporting her sons through challenging middle and high school years. She returned to medicine in 2005, where she served as a psychiatrist at the community guidance clinic in Durham.

In July 2008, she was a founder and the executive medical director for a nonprofit that provided mental health and substance abuse services in Raleigh-Durham. This was a demanding and fulfilling time because her clinic provided necessary care to the underserved of her community. She retired from medicine in 2013 to pursue other interests such as studying the culinary arts, coin collecting, poetry, painting, landscaping, and interior design. In retirement, she was able to get two corgis whom she loved.

Kendall cared for and supported many people during her professional career and life because she was filled with love and compassion. She deeply loved her children and husband, and she will be profoundly missed.

In addition to her parents, Dr. Warden is survived by her husband, Dennis Warden; sons, Mark Warden, Nathan Warden; and brothers, David Carnes, Thomas Carnes.

Kendall and her family have been members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Durham since 1992.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association: 2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900

Arlington, VA 22202 https://www.diabetes.org/donate