Today, Veterans Day, is also the 92nd anniversary of the marriage of my late paternal grandparents, Carl Hendrickson and Dorothy Clausen Hendrickson. They were married on Nov. 11, 1927, by a Lutheran pastor in Sioux City, Iowa. They were married for 64 years, until the death of my grandmother in 1991. I am grateful for the length and strength of their marriage. While I can’t know much first hand about their early married years, based on accounts from my father, an only child, they were busy and social people. I remember them that way in their later years as well.
Grandpa grew up on a farm in Kamrar, Iowa, and Grandma grew up in the nearby small town of Duncombe. Grandpa attended Grinnell College for a few years before apparently leaving to go to work. Grandma graduated from college, then taught English for a few years. He was 24 and she was 23 when they married, and his job at the time of their marriage was “clerk.”
They raised my father in the Morningside neighborhood of Sioux City, Iowa, where they lived for decades, with the exception of a brief sojourn in the town of Cherokee. They belonged to the Methodist Church. Dad once told me that Grandpa was offered a demanding position in Chicago at some point, but he turned it down, thanking them but telling them he was a “family man” and wished to stay where he was.
Sometime around the 1970s, my grandparents retired in Escondido, California, near San Diego, where they enjoyed the sunshine, and where in their later years both spent a few years volunteering at the local hospital. They also enjoyed traveling together. We visited them several times in the summer. I think my first airplane ride may have been to San Diego to visit them … but usually we drove. They took walks with us in the early evenings in Escondido, and they took us to SeaWorld, the Wild Animal Park, and the San Diego Harbor, among other places. My grandfather, who lived to be 97, survived my grandmother by nine years. I know how much he must have missed her. They are buried together at Oak Hill Memorial Park in Escondido. I miss them very much. May they rest in perfect peace.
My grandmother was a subject of one of my birthday profiles earlier this year: Dorothy Hendrickson, 1904-1991. I’ll be taking a closer look at my grandfather for his birthday profile in January.