BASEHOR — John Frederick Hendrickson, 85, passed away peacefully Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, at his home in Basehor.
John was born in Osage County June 14, 1936, the youngest of five children born to E.A. “Pete” and Edith E. (Beaty) Hendrickson.
He attended schools in Osage City and many other locations while his father was a foreman for the Santa Fe Railway. He often told people he was not raised on the “wrong side of the tracks” but “ON the tracks.” He began his career in Osage City at a very young age for the local florist, and was known far and wide for his floral arrangements and his love of flowers. John received a degree in landscape design in 1958 from Kansas State College, Manhattan.
John’s adult life was spent in Leavenworth, where he was employed by the United States Penitentiary as supervisor of grounds maintenance before retiring in 1986. He simultaneously served in the United States Army Reserve for 28 years and attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
He served as Parks Superintendent for the City of Leavenworth for 10 years. Over the years, John planted trees – too numerous to count – in and around Leavenworth, and advised others how to do the same. As a horticulturist and arborist, he started the Legacy Tree Program in Leavenworth, which honors people past and present. His last official act in the capacity of Parks Superintendent prior to his retirement in 2000 was the construction of the beautiful Landing Park on the west bank of the Missouri River.
John married Patricia Marie Church Dec. 29, 1956. Three children were born to that union, James (Benita), Keith (Carrie) and Melinda (John Young). Patricia preceded him in death in 1995.
In 1999, he married Doris (Potts) Morelock, and gained two more children, Jeremy Morelock (Denise Owens) and Jennifer Zoe Morelock Miller (Jeff).
John was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Norma Jean Barger; his brother, Ernest Hendrickson; and his wife of 39 years, Patricia Hendrickson.
He is survived by his children; his beloved siblings, Mary Lou Estes and Lila Fay (Glenn) Lindbloom; his sister-in-law, Patricia Hendrickson; many much-loved grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
John was an avid woodworker and leaves hundreds of pieces of art attesting to his skill. All were made on a lathe he purchased in Kansas City for $150 at the age of 15 and paid off by working for 35 cents an hour. He was a member of the Leavenworth Lions Club, Trinity Lutheran Church, Woodworkers Guild of Kansas City, the Woodturners Guild of Kansas City, and was an honorary member of Sunflower Piecemakers Quilt Guild for his many contributions over the years.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benevolence Fund at Trinity Lutheran Church or the Leavenworth Lions Club Scholarship Fund.
The family would like to sincerely thank Hospice of Leavenworth for their kind and compassionate care during the final months of John’s life.
A Celebration of Life service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 10th and Thorton, Leavenworth. Visitation will begin 10 a.m., prior to the service.
Condolences may be left at DavisFuneralChapelInc.com.
The family encourages you to enjoy an Oreo cookie, or a full package, in John’s memory. He would not hesitate to add, “Eat the old-fashioned ones. None of those double-stuffed sickly flavored ones!” And because of his love for flowers, in lieu of sending flowers for the service, please give a bouquet to someone you love, or to a stranger, and make their day. Tell them John sent you.