James B. Hendricks, P.E.
GUILDERLAND — A Professional Engineer who was deeply involved in the community, James B. Hendricks was a family man. He died on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady following a short illness. He was 92.
“He was a gentleman of the old school, kind and loving to everyone,” said his wife, of almost 35 years, Elaine B. Hendricks. “He loved his family and did a lot of good for others. He thought that was his duty.”
Mr. Hendricks was born on Oct. 26, 1920 in Youngstown, Ohio to the late Bernard and Margaret (née Biegle) Hendricks. He moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. as a small child and then moved to New York City at age 10. He graduated from St. Agnes High School in Manhattan, Manhattan College, and Drexel University.
“He was a great proponent of education,” said Mrs. Hendricks. “He kept attending local colleges until he was 75. He had a thirst for knowledge. He had a very high IQ, above the genius level, but he wouldn’t want me to tell you what it was.”
He served in New Caledonia and Korea for the United States Army and during World War II in the Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945.
Mr. Hendricks worked for General Electric at Knoll’s Atomic Laboratory and the New York State Office of General Services. He retired as Chief Specification Writer from the OGS after over 30 years of service.
He was active in the Guilderland Community as a Boy Scout Leader, Chairman of the Building Committee for the Guilderland Middle School and St. Madeleine Sophie School.
“He made sure all his children had a Catholic education. He encouraged them,” said Mrs. Hendricks.
A religious person, Mr. Hendricks was very involved in his parish of St. Madeleine Sophie as a lector, religious education teacher, Eucharistic minister, committee chairperson of fund-raisers and church building projects, and usher for over 40 years.
He was also a member of the Altamont Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, Guilderland Democrats Club, Albany Diocesan Senior Social Group, Town of Guilderland Environmental Conservation Council, and St. Madeleine Sophie’s Men’s Association.
“He was very humble; he never tooted his own horn,” said his wife, concluding, “He was a wonderful, kind man. He never said anything mean or nasty. And he always had a smile.”
James B. Hendricks is survived by his wife of over 34 years, Elaine M. Hendricks.
He is also survived by nine children, Margaret Shambo; James M. Hendricks and his wife, Sharon; Michael J. Hendricks; John J. Hendricks and his wife, Beverly; Stephen T. Hendricks and his wife, Leslie; Elizabeth Brzoska and her husband, Stanislaus; Kathleen Penalver and Noel; and Robert J. Hendricks; by two stepchildren, Heather E. Walker and Edward G. Rickert and his wife, Catherine; and by foster son James S. Howard and his wife, Susan. He also leaves behind 20 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
In addition to his parents, two sisters died before him as did his infant son, Thomas Hendricks, his daughter, Mary Ellen Hendricks Smith, and his first wife, Mary Dennison Hendricks.
A calling hour will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. today, Thursday, Oct. 17, at St. Madeleine Sophie Church at 3500 Carman Rd. in Guilderland with a Mass of Christian Burial to immediately follow at 11 a.m.
Interment will be at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Autism Action Network, Post Office Box 1516, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013 or to St. Madeleine Sophie Church, 3500 Carman Rd. Schenectady, NY 12303 in memory of James B. Hendricks.
Mourners may leave messages online at www.NewcomerAlbany.com.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer