Evelyn Way Kendall (1893–1979) was born in Ontario, Canada to William Beall Way, a supervisor in the Canadian railway system, and Mary Louise Deacon Way. She attended Albert College in Belleville, Ontario and Pickering College in Newmarket, Ontario, and graduated in the class of 1916 from the Royal Victoria Hospital Training School for Nurses in Montreal. She and Henry P. Kendall were married in 1926, and had three children; Henry Way Kendall (1926), John Plimpton Kendall (1928), and Helen Louise Kendall (1930).
A nurse by profession, Mrs. Kendall was an artist and collector by avocation. Her interests were eclectic. She was instrumental in assembling the extensive art holdings of the Kendall Whaling Museum and in creatively furnishing the museum.
She created the Evelyn Kendall Ballooning and Early Aviation Collection, an assemblage of paintings, drawings, prints, decorative items, books, photographs and other materials from the 18th through the early 20th centuries related to the European and American history of ballooning and early mechanized aviation.
With her husband, she developed a collection of early South Carolina maps and prints which they donated to the University of South Carolina. She assembled a significant doll collection (sold in 1999), much of which she displayed in the former Kendall Doll Museum, as well as a collection of antique clothing, much of which she donated to the Royal Ontario Museum. She was both an artist in and a collector of folk artwork in sea shells, and pursued interests in textiles and interior design.
Her archive includes personal and professional correspondence, scrapbooks, memorabilia, documents, photograph albums, magazine and news clippings, records of her collecting activities, and photographs of items in various collections, as well as samples of some collections, including a three-album set of picture postcards, primarily antique cards of Massachusetts locales.
She was also interested in family history. Among her papers are genealogical documents, books and other printed materials, family memoirs, photographs and memorabilia related to the Way, Beall and Deacon families of Canada and Great Britain, including a biographical sketch of her great grandfather, Captain John Hatherly Way, and an 1824–1826 nautical logbook of her great great-grandfather Benjamin Way of Biddeford, England.