Bob was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on July 11, 1918. His family moved to Moline, Kansas, in 1919, where Bob’s father was an oil field drilling contractor and producer.
Bob graduated from Moline High School in 1936, and enrolled at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas, where he received his AB degree in 1940 and his Law Degree in 1942. He was admitted to the Kansas Bar in June of the same year, and was then immediately inducted into the U.S. Army Air Corps. After basic training, he was selected to attend the Harvard Business School as an officer candidate and was commissioned a 2d Lt. in October of 1943. His training at Harvard was in Air Corps Management Controls. His organization, which was independent and worldwide in its scope, collected and analyzed classified information and prepared top secret daily reports for Air Corps Headquarters in order to assist in daily combat decisions around the world.
Bob’s military service included tours of duty in the continental U.S. and overseas duty on Okinawa, where he was attached to the 8th Airforce (301st Fighter Wing.) While he worked on plans for the invasion of Japan, under general orders dated Feb. 13, 1946, 301st Fighter Wing, he received credit for battle heroism and for participation in the air offensive over Japan. At some time during the period of May 17, 1945, to Aug. 15, 1945, he was awarded the bronze service star, which he wore on the Asia Pacific ribbon. He was separated from active duty service in March 1946, with the rank of captain, and remained in the ready reserve. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. (Bob often said that the dropping of the “bomb” probably saved his life and gave him the chance to go back and marry Bj!)
In 1964, he had the honor of being selected to participate in an Air Force Chief of Staff overseas call to Europe to visit NATO, SHAPE and EUCOM in Paris, USAF sites in Wiesbaden, Berlin, Ramstein, Ingolstadt, Wheelus AFB in Libya and 3d AF in England.
Bob was married to Bettyjune “Bj” Hughes on Sept. 22, 1947, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They had met on a blind date in May 1944, at the officer’s club at Peterson Field in Colorado Springs, and fell in love at first sight! Two children were born of this union: Robert Thomas Hendrickson “Tob” and Bettyjune Hendrickson Clark “Juni.” Their son Robert is married to Jennifer Shilgi, and their daughter Bettyjune is married to Raymond E. Clark. They have one grandchild: Juni’s daughter, Lucy Clark Simenc, in Boulder, Colorado.
After World War II, Bob began his law practice in Winfield, Kansas. He moved to Billings in March, 1948, after having married Bj. He continued his law practice in Montana with Earl V. Cline. During his years in the active practice, from 1948 to 1993, he specialized in the legal areas of Real Property, Estate Planning, Probate, and Taxation. He was elected as a Fellow in the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel and served as President of the Yellowstone County Bar Association in 1962. He practiced in all state and federal courts, including the U.S. Tax Court. He served as a trustee of the Montana State Bar Association and was presented with the Distinguished Service Award from the State Bar of Montana on the 24th day of June, 1972. He held the highest rating of “AV” in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and was the Senior Partner in the Hendrickson Law Firm.
Bob was active in the Masonic Order, being a member of Billings Lodge #113, the Scottish Rite and the Al Bedoo Temple. He was also an avid golfer and tennis player. He played tennis for many years with friends in Billings, at the Denver Tennis Club, and with the “Kellogg Gang,” a senior group of players at The La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club. Bob was also an avid bird hunter who hunted over his famous English setters for 50 years. He hunted the setters on quail in Kansas and pheasants in Montana and North Dakota. He was a fly fisherman par excellence and spent many pleasant days on the Madison River, Stillwater River and Spring Creek near Lewistown, Montana. His dry fly favorite was the olive elk hair caddis. He also experienced great personal enjoyment in studying and playing jazz piano — which he pursued even in his final days.