Jay E. Hendrickson
1937, 1790, Mystic, F-1 LEM
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Jay E Hendrickson of Hill City, South Dakota, who passed away at his home on November 22, 2020, at the age of 99, leaving to mourn family and friends.
Jay was born on February 14, 1921, to John 'Jack' and Mary Lou (Makke) Hendrickson in Huron, SD. He proudly served as a Captain in the United States Army during World War II, enlisting on October 31, 1942 and was honorably discharged in December of 1954.
In 1937, Jay joined the Civil Conservation Corps at age 16 and was housed at Mystic.
Jay was owner of his own company, Grain States, Inc for over 50 years, primarily building feed mills from coast to coast.
Jay was instrumental in forming the Hill City CCC Museum and spent many hours there.
Jay was a very active 50 year member of the Lions Club. He held offices including President and served on the Board of the S.D. Lions Foundation. Jay was President of the S.D. Eye Bank and served as District Governor from 1992-1993. Jay was inducted into the Lions Hall of Fame in 1999.
Jay was a long time member of the Community Lutheran Church in Hill City and served on the Church Board. He was also the President of the Board of the Rochford Chapel and caretaker at the Bell Park Cemetery near Rochford for many years.
Jay is preceded in death by many relatives, including brothers, John and Ray and grandson, Darin Olson. Also preceding him were many friends including his best friend, Lloyd Thompson.
Jay is survived by his wife of 53 years, Elaine Hendrickson of Hill City, SD; children, Loree Olson of Albert Lee, MN; Mischa (Bill) Conlan of Tracy, MN; Steven J (Susan) Hendrickson of Springfield, MN; six grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren as well as great great grandchildren.
Burial will be held at Black Hills National Cemetery and a Celebration of Jay's life will be planned for the Summer of 2021.
Memorials have been designated in Jay's name to the Rochford Chapel, Community Lutheran Church and the CCC Museum.
Jay spoke often about his time in the Civilian Conservation Corps. In addition to the material below you can view other talks and video that Mr. Hendrickson was part of by following this link. We will all miss Jay.
Jay Hendrickson's 95th birthday is on Feb. 14, 2016. He was born in 1921 in Huron. Jay celebrated from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, at the Hill City Senior Center. Many friends stopped and visited with Jay.
at the Hill City Senior Center - Feb 14, 2016.
Jay Hendrickson is a past president of the CCC Museum of South Dakota and remains very active at the Museum. During the busy season of 2015 Jay would volunteer one or two days a week, meeting and answering visitor question about the Civilian Conservation Corps and the area. Read about Jay and "Life in a CCC Camp."
The following is from a 2012 article by Jennifer S. Brown in the Faces Magazine.
Jay Hendrickson was only 16 years old when he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) although the age to enter was actually 18. This program was a "good deal" for young men in the area because it provided them with gainful employment that benefited the entire area. Jay stayed in the CCC for over two years.
Jay is a well known figure in Hill City and loves to get to know people and participate in the surrounding area. He's been president of the Rochford Chapel, the senior citizens' group, the Rochford Cemetery Association, Lions in Hill City.
Over nearly a century of life, Jay has watched Black Hills history unfold, including the creation of Mount Rushmore, the advance of electricity in the Hills after WWII, the heyday and decline of the gold mining industry, the growth of Rapid City from a population of 10,000 people to over 67,000 and, most recently, the current threat of the mountain pine beetle. He jokes that if the trees go, at least you'll be able to see all of the pretty rocks.
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