DONALD EDWARD HENDRICKSON
Born December 26, 1932
Died March 31, 2020
Don Hendrickson passed away March 31st, following a long period of declining health. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Shirley (Page), five children – Val (Lorne), Terrea, Debra, James (Gloria), Donna, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents, Ed Hendrickson, and Iva and Joffre Villeneuve, sister Betty Jo, brother-in-law Jack Brown, and his son, Robert.
Don was raised in Inwood Manitoba and Kenora Ontario. He was always on the move, back and forth between provinces, and truck driving jobs, in Alberta and Ontario. Anyone who knew Don knows that he was a born trucker, operating equipment of all descriptions, for 60 years. He often said that his favourite thing in the world was driving a big truck, in the rain, while listening to country music.
Don’s first job was working at the Villeneuve sawmill. He worked briefly for CPR, Kenora Lumber, Texaco, Imperial Oil, MANDO, and Devlin Timber, before moving on to big rigs, logging thousands of miles across North America, from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico, under the trucker’s handle, “The Animal”. He retired reluctantly at age 76, leaving his beloved job working for his good friend, Rolly Roen.
After retirement, Don devoted himself to several battles – fighting dandelions in the summer, leaves in the fall, snow in the winter, and deer droppings all year long. Our wonderful neighbours can certainly attest to his dogged determination on all fronts.
Don was most grateful for Shirley, who stood by him through thick and thin, and for his family, of which he was immensely proud. He expressed gratitude in the memory of George and Violet Page, for the gift of their beloved home at Trout Lake.
Don’s proudest accomplishments were building a family with Shirley, and helping to build the Alaska Highway. In recent years he longed for one more trip up that road, but was unable to make the journey, until now. We believe that one immediate item on his heavenly agenda is a road trip to Alaska, with his old friend, “Big Bev” Harrison.
We celebrate Don’s freedom, while grieving our great loss. He will be dearly missed by his family, including his siblings, Randy Villeneuve and Linda Brown. It is with deep emotion that we pass him along to our loved ones in Heaven.
There will be no ceremony at this time, with a memorial to be held during the summer, when family can be with us.
This obituary would not be complete without accolades for Dr. Thomas, Alexis Peplinski, and the devoted medical staff at Lake of the Woods District Hospital. Dr. Brad Kyle, the nursing staff, and the palliative team did an exemplary job of supporting Don through his final days. Our heartfelt gratitude to them all, as they navigate this time of pandemic uncertainty.