Paul Hendrickson, born in Peru, Nebraska on March 27, 1935 to Mary Izetta and Forest Ernest Hendrickson went to his eternal home on December 30, 2020, having attained the age of 85 years, nine months and three days.
Paul was the youngest of seven children. He lost his father at the age of five, so at the age of 12 he moved to Brownville, Nebraska to live and work truck gardening with his oldest sister, Edith.
Paul accepted Christ as his Savior at age 19. He married his high school sweetheart, Sally Hendrickson, in Brownville, Nebraska on May 27, 1956. They moved directly to Oklahoma were Paul was employed in construction, building cooling towers for oil refineries. His next move was to Sioux City, Iowa, where at the young age of 23, Paul obtained his riverboat pilot license. Missouri River construction took them to many towns and cities in Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Missouri.
In 1964 Paul and father-in-law, Otis Cogdill, purchased the Ferry Inn Café and what would be the “Sally Ann “Ferry Service. Paul, Sally and their 3 children moved near the ferry landing in Niobrara, Nebraska. He then became a barge line captain, working on all of the major rivers from the Missouri and East. In 1969, Paul and family settled in at Running Water, where they remained while he flew back and forth to wherever his tow boat and cargo were at the time. Paul was later inducted into the River Rat Hall of Fame. His photo hangs on the first boat he ever worked on, the Captain Meriwether Lewis, now a museum in Brownville.
Paul loved spending time with his family. His schedule of working 30 days on and 30 days off permitted wonderful traveling and vacation time. After the children were grown, the motorcycle became Paul’s favorite mode of transportation. He was a member of the Christian Motorcycle Association, attending many rallies across the country. The most challenging motorcycle trip was to Alaska. Eventually the motorcycle was traded for a motorhome with trips south during winter months. Paul combined his love for work, people and travel. During trips south, he took great pleasure in volunteering at the Hopi Mission School in Arizona. He also volunteered locally at the Bon Homme Bible Camp. He would often help out local farmers during harvest “for something to do.” Paul loved his dogs. A dog accompanied him everywhere; south for the winter, Bluegrass Festivals, running errands, mowing or to the couch for a nap. Paul loved so much; his Savior Jesus, family, friends, Bluegrass music, cowboy poetry, coffee, laughing (always laughing!), good food, visiting with people (anyone), working and helping others.
Eternally thankful for having shared his life is his wife, Sally, children, Guy (fiancé Cindy), Troy (Donna) and Paula, nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, his three sisters: Audrey Hartman, Lincoln, Nebraska, Ann Hendrickson, Peru, Nebraska and Pauline (George) Coddington of Poughkeepsie, New York and many extended family and friends.
Yankton Press & Dakotan
January 21, 2021