James Earnest Hendricks, 78, of Findlay, Ohio passed away peacefully with his favorite girl (Sissy) on his lap on Monday, February 20, after an extended illness. Jim graduated from Galesburg High School in 1962 and referred to himself as a “just little ole farm boy from Illinois”, but he was far from that.
Jim proudly served his country. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1966, then was attached to the U.S. Marine Corps for a tour of duty in Vietnam as a FMF combat corpsman with Dark Horse (1/3/5). He reflected on his time via Charlie Sheen, “The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days…those who did make it have an obligation to build again. To teach to others what we know, and to try with what’s left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.” And, he did.
Jim graduated with his Bachelor’s degree (1972), Master’s degree (1973), and Ph.D. (1979), from Southern Illinois University. He began his professional career at Menard Correctional Center in 1973 and ended it at Ball State University where he retired after 32 years as a Professor and Chair Emeritus in 2013. He took time from BSU to serve as Chief Deputy of the Delaware County Police Department. Jim also was the Director and Founder of the Victim Advocate Program in Muncie, IN. James was a member of the VFW Post 2257 in Galesburg, IL, and enjoyed riding his Harley and traveling around the world.
James leaves behind his wife of 25 years, Cindy (Gillespie), and two daughters: Lisa (Joe) Scott, Villa Rica, GA, and Kacey (Brett) Riley , Shelbyville, IL, and grandchildren Karley Scott, Katrina McElhaney, Trinity Riley, Aiden Riley, and Cameron Riley. He also leaves behind nieces and nephews Nancy (Ted) Van Wassenhove, Dave Mealman, Mark Mealman, J.R. (Nora) Peal, Laurie Glynn, Andy (Jami) Koziel, Cody (Erin) Koziel, Cassie Cassady, LeeAnn (Doug) Irvin. Other surviving family members are Ralph (Elizabeth) Gillespie, Sherrie Holcombe, Terrie (Dave) Koziel, and Ralph (Lynn) Gillespie, Charlie Watts, and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Earnest and Mable Hendricks, his sisters Kathleen Mealman and Pat Watts and brother-in-law Don Mealman.
A special thank you to our Birchaven Village family and ICU family at Blanchard Valley Hospital where Jim spent the last eight months. Jim was loved by so many and the family will be forever grateful for the love and care he received at both facilities.
Friends will be received from 1:00 – 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at Barndt Funeral Home in Wayne, Ohio, where Military Honors will be performed Saturday at 4:00 PM by the Wood County Military Detail. Per Jim’s request, there will be no funeral. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate to Birchaven Village or Blanchard Valley Hospital. Online condolences may be sent to Jim’s family at www.barndtfuneralhome.org.