Thomas Ryland Kendrick, 70, former director of operations for the Kennedy Center and former assistant managing editor of The Washington Post's Style section, died May 5 at his home in Corona Del Mar, Calif., after a stroke.

Mr. Kendrick had lived in California since 1985, when he became president and board member of the Orange County Performing Arts Center. He retired in 1993 but continued to play a consulting role at the center.

His life in Washington ranged from reporting on civil rights in the 1960s to expanding the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

He came to The Washington Post as a copy boy, then left to serve in the Air Force and earn an advanced degree.

He returned in 1960 and worked as a local reporter, national political reporter, deputy metro editor and managing editor for the newly created Style section in 1970.

Two years later, he became an assistant managing editor, a job that included responsibility for Style.

He left The Post in 1976 to join the Kennedy Center, where he was the chief administrative officer and coordinated personnel, budget and policy matters. He was also the center's liaison with cultural organizations, the National Park Service and concessionaires.

Mr. Kendrick was most proud of his part in the construction of the Terrace Theater, the center's library and the children's programs, his family said.

He was born in Portland, Maine, and grew up in Brunswick, Maine, where his father was president and dean of Bowdoin College. He graduated from Amherst College in 1955 and received his master's degree in international communications from Indiana University in 1959.

Between schools, he served for three years as an Air Force operations officer, stationed in Canada and Virginia.

He was a member of the national cultural and arts organization Imagination Celebration and the National Committee of the Alliance for Arts Education, vice president of Kennedy Center Television Productions Inc. and former chairman of the National Conference of Performing Arts Center Managers.

His marriages to Valen M. Brown and Judith O'Dea Morr ended in divorce.

Survivors include two children from his first marriage, Tracy Davis Kendrick of Iowa City and Ryland Bennett Kendrick of Alexandria; and a sister.