CENTERBURG — Russell Hendrickson, 87, of Centerburg passed away Wednesday, May 26, 2010, at St. Ann’s Hospital surrounded by his loving family after a brief illness.
Born May 16, 1923, in Wichita, Kan., to Clyde and Anna Hendrickson, he was one of nine children. He married Jean Cowman in 1946 and they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on April 6 of this year. He was a member of the Sparta Advent Christian Church.
Russell was a proud Army veteran in the 2nd Armored Division, known as “Hell on Wheels.” He served in World War II in Europe and fought in the Battle of the Bulge and the Normandy Invasion on D-Day. Although he never spoke of the war for most of his life, in recent years he enjoyed telling his war stories to anyone willing to listen. His medals and ribbons are proudly displayed. It is appropriate that he left this world on the week of Memorial Day.
He was a plasterer by trade for his entire life and did work on many major buildings in Ohio as well as ornamental work. He also spent many years working on cars and was a charter member of the Pacemaker Drag strip.
Russell was best known for his cooking and baking abilities and most people in Centerburg have tasted his delicious pecan rolls, cinnamon rolls, glazed yeast donuts and warm loaves of bread. He was still baking just weeks before his death.
Above all Russell loved his family. He spent much of his day calling his kids and grandchildren if they hadn’t dropped by to visit. He loved them all unconditionally and was a fierce protector of them as well. He took great pride in all of his family’s achievements. His family is proud to call him their hero.
Russell is survived by his loving wife, Jean; four children, Candy (Don) McCracken, Murray (Mary) Hendrickson, Holly (Greg) Chadwick and Jan (Sonja) Hendrickson; 10 grandchildren, Diana Payne, Rick Shultz, Justin O’Riley, Joshua Clarke, Jeremy Dick, Jason Hendrickson, Brandi Whitesel, Ryan Matthews, Bob May and Leah Hendrickson; 12 great-grandchildren, Jake, Kevin and Grayson Payne, Nevaeh O’Riley, Cody Griffith, Austin and Levi Thorpe, Chloe Whitesel, Megan Hendrickson, Colton May, Ashton Matthews, Lily May and one more on the way; two sisters, Virginia Steele and Betty Matson; and many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Friday, May 28, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Johnson-Melick-Moreland Funeral Home in Centerburg. Cremation will follow. A graveside service with full military honors will be held Wednesday, June 2, at 11 a.m. at Eastview Cemetery in Centerburg, with his grandnephew Pastor Brad Duncan officiating.