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James Hendrickson

February 3, 1939 January 21, 2020
James Hendrickson
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Obituary for James Hendrickson

James Lawrence Hendrickson of Peoria, IL, passed peacefully into God’s hands on January 21, 2020, at St. Francis Hospital. Jim, or “Cricket” as he was known to many, was born on February 3, 1939, in Peoria, IL, and made Peoria his home all his life. He graduated from Woodruff High School in 1957 as a four-year letterman in baseball, basketball, and cross country. After graduation, he married Judith Smith, and they had four children together. In 1985, he married Terry Krueger (Terry Hendrickson) whom he remained married to until his death. He started his adult life as a painting contractor and then moved into the US Postal Service before finding his true calling as a salesman. Jim worked in the grocery industry as an account executive for over 40 years, primarily with the Pillsbury Corporation. In 2004, Pillsbury honored him by inducting him into the Pillsbury Sales Hall of Fame.
More than that, sports were a constant companion for Jim. He was an avid golfer and explored every course that Peoria and surrounding cities had to offer. He refereed high school and college basketball, and he coached baseball for over two decades, developing his coaching skills initially while involved with pony league baseball. Later he would lead the American Legion Post baseball teams for both Peoria and Washington, IL, and was a scouting source for the Cubs, Cardinals, and others. Over the course of about 15 years, he coached over 200 players, including a few major leaguers, most notably, Joe Girardi (Cubs, Rockies, Yankees) and Danny Goodwin (Twins). One of his greatest joys came from the players that stayed in contact with him over the years having been influenced by his coaching and his kindness.
Active in retirement, he continued to play golf well into his late 70’s and worked in various jobs to stay both busy and active. He worked for the Peoria Park District at the Golf Learning Center (GLC), as well as at some of the golf courses; and he continued to enjoy meeting with his golf buddies at the GLC long after he was no longer working there. He was also employed at the East Peoria Walmart store and missed many of his friends from Walmart after he was unable to work because of his health.
He is survived by his wife, Terry, his mother-in-law Betty Copp, his sister Helen Sumrall (Jim), and his five children (Laura Hendrickson, Susan Hoffman (Dan), Gregory (Jim) Hendrickson (Leann), Scott Hendrickson (Becky) and Michelle Krueger. He is also survived by his eleven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
In his 1957 yearbook, the yearbook committee added quotes from all seniors. Jim’s came from a quote from a Henry Newbolt poem called “New and Old”:
“To set the cause above renown,
To love the game beyond the prize,
To honor, while you strike him down,
The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
To count the life of battle good,
And dear the land that gave you birth,
And dearer yet the brotherhood
That binds the brave of all the earth. 
Jim approached his life as if he were living that poem. He found great causes, was a great competitor, gracious in victory and fearless in the face of challenge, focusing on achievements that many could celebrate together rather than simply winning. He fought the battle of life well and will be remembered by his friends as a truly noble soul.

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