Gary B. Hendrickson, 78, passed away September 17, 2022 at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In his final days, Gary was surrounded by the love of family - in particular, his only child, Gini L. Hendrickson.
Gary was born in his parent’s home due to an intense snowstorm on January 4, 1944. Gary, a 100% Finlander, was the eldest child of Brynolf and Sylvia Hendrickson both who preceded him in death. Gary was dedicated to his Finnish heritage and proud to be a Finn living in America. Each year he attended FinnFest and in his final year of life, Gary and his daughter attended, via the internet, the historic application by Finland to join NATO. Gary was the epitome of a Finlander - independent; fiercely private; strong-willed; and reserved. There is a saying that when a Finn says something, they really mean it. This was true of Gary. He had the physical attributes of a Finn with crystal blue eyes and an infectious smile. If you were lucky to be in his presence when he smiled or laughed, then you saw the twinkle in his eye.
Gary was a high school graduate and relentless self-learner. An avid reader of several daily newspapers, always educated on global, national, and local current events and politics. He spent hours and hours in the library researching news and topics important to him and his loved ones. He was known for clipping newspaper articles and sharing the information with his family.
Gary was a veteran of the United States Army spending active duty in Germany during years of war and conflict. Gary worked at Fort Howard Steel and Wire. It was there, through a friend, that he met his (former) wife and started a family. Gary went on to work most of his days with Chicago and North Western (CNW) Railroad. He was an active member of the union and served as president of the union while working for the railroad.
Aside from Gary’s dedication to his Finnish roots, he was an avid auto racing fan. Dirt racing was his favorite. He spent many, many hours at the track and supported Wisconsin race car driver, Ron Berna. Gary’s daughter is deeply grateful for the kindness Ron Berna’s family extended to Gary in his last year of life. When Berna’s family learned Gary was fully paralyzed and unable to communicate due to severe strokes, they sent him Berna merchandise. Gary displayed photos of Berna and the racing team in his room and wore the cap from the team in his final months.
Gary also enjoyed Detroit Tigers baseball, Detroit Red Wings Hockey, swimming, fishing, and getting away to warm climates when the cold winters arrived in Wisconsin.
He is survived by his daughter, Gini L. Hendrickson. Gary’s only grandchild, Zachary, preceded him in death in November 2013. Gary dearly loved his daughter and grandson. He was forever changed and broken-hearted when his grandson’s life ended abruptly. Gary also lost his brother, Roger Hendrickson, unexpectedly in 1978. He is survived by Sharon Hendrickson, his younger sister.
Per Gary's wishes no public formal services will be held. The public may offer their condolences to Gary’s daughter by contacting her directly or through our office at Malcore Funeral Home.