Jessica Hendrickson, of West Chester, PA and Port St. Lucie, FL — loving wife, adored mother and grandmother — passed away at the age of 74 on Saturday, January 23, 2021 after a short and unexpected illness.
Born in New York City, Jessica grew up in Wayne, Michigan with her parents, Miles and Janet, sister Elaine, and grandmother Jessie (“Granny”). She attended Wayne Memorial High School, then Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where she married her first husband, Jim Hickey, and gave birth to their son, Blair.
Jessica remarried in 1979, to Dick Hendrickson, her surviving husband of 42 years. The two met when Jess decided to take golf lessons from the “tall and handsome” pro at the local golf course, thus beginning an almost five-decade partnership of playing and competing. When Dick qualified for the Senior PGA Tour in 1988, Jess was right beside him, breaking ground as one of the very first female caddies on tour. Working together as their family’s “favorite sports team,” the two competed in 367 tournaments over 11 years, racking up 47 top-ten finishes, and four runner-up titles.
An avid player herself, Jess loved competing and playing with friends, especially at PGA Village in Florida, as well as her home course at Radley Run Country Club in Pennsylvania, where she served as President of Ladies Golf, and won multiple titles including the Ladies Club Championship, Senior Club Championship and Super Senior Championship. And although not one to talk about herself, when pressed, Jess would tell you she was proud of her two holes-in-one.
For all of her accomplishments on the course, it was her dedication and devotion to family that defined Jess the most. Nothing fulfilled her more, or gave her more joy, than tending to the people she loved, whether that meant juggling the hectic schedules of a teenage son and two step-children, moving back to Michigan to nurse her ailing mother, or studying (and remembering) every medical detail of any issue Dick faced. She’d drop everything to take your call when you needed advice, would travel hours to celebrate a birthday, or gladly rearrange her day to read, sing, or bake over FaceTime with her granddaughters in California.
Those who knew Jess will remember her genuine, wholehearted compassion; her big, bright friendly smile; her self-conscious silliness; her competitiveness (golf, mahjong, trying to beat Dick at gin rummy); her faith in the lucky socks she wore while cheering for the Philadelphia Eagles; how her holiday meals and decorations were consistently magazine-worthy; and the fact her home was always immaculate, even though she’d insist it wasn’t.
Jessica is survived by her husband Dick; her son Blair Hickey, daughter-in-law Laura, and their daughters Alex and Charlotte; her stepdaughter Kristin Hendrickson Holder and her son, Joshua; her stepson Brian Hendrickson and his daughter, Sarah; as well as loving members of her extended family in Michigan and Atlanta.
For the safety of family and friends, a memorial service will be postponed until later in the year. In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a contribution in Jessica’s name to First Tee Greater Philadelphia, or First Tee Florida Gold Coast, local chapters of a non-profit dedicated to empowering children through the game of golf. (firstteephiladelphia.org or firstteefloridagoldcoast.org).