John Gordon Hendrikson, 71, of Bemidji, died on August 3, 2020, in hospice care at Colleen’s Caring Hands. He was born September 21, 1948, in Slayton, MN, the only child of Gordon and Mabel “Mickey” (McHarg) Hendrikson. He grew up and graduated from high school in Aberdeen, SD and earned his BS in Chemical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City. It was there that he met Linda Haley. They married in 1969 and had two children, Jennifer and Jason. In 1977, his engineering career brought them to Grand Forks, ND. In 2011, after 34 years at University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center, John retired and he and Linda moved to his favorite spot, Lake Movil.John savored time with his children and grandchildren and they delighted in his loving attention and playful sense of humor which included playing pranks, telling jokes and breaking out in song. At ‘the lake’ is where John was happiest. He was an avid water skier and enjoyed teaching others, and he loved to fish. He kept friends and family fed with many fish fries over the years. John was notorious for finding a new hobby and mastering it – photography, bridge, gardening, growing African violets, breeding fish (African cichlids), genealogy, coin collecting, reading and technology. John’s curiosity, bright mind and kind caring nature will be missed by all that knew him. In 2011, John was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment which later progressed to Alzheimers. He was cared for at home until May 2020 when he moved to Good Samaritan Society – International Falls and then Colleen’s Caring Hands in Bemidji. John’s parents preceded him in death. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Linda Hendrikson; children, Jennifer Mostad and Jason (Jaimee) Hendrikson; grandchildren, Evan (fiance Tali), Jayce, and Haley Mostad and Parker and Crosby Hendrikson; and faithful yellow lab, Jake. We want to thank John’s caregivers, especially Colleen, her staff and Sanford Health hospice for their loving care. COVID restrictions kept us from seeing John since May, so we were grateful to be able to spend the last few days by his side. A private family service will be held and a celebration of life will be planned once it’s safer to gather. Memorials in John’s name preferred to New Salem Lutheran Church, Sanford Bemidji Hospice or Alzheimer’s Association.
Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into a