May 2, 1943 – November 15, 2023
Fond of good jokes, hot mochas, early morning fishing, and holiday pies, he lived his life as a husband and father working in the woods and mills of the West End to provide for his family. Rarely a man to be inside, the farm out on the Quillayute Prairie was his life’s hobby, tinkering with this & building that. Baby season was always met with quiet expectation, though his girls remember him running into the house more than once shouting for his wife, Candy, to come see the new arrivals or to help a troublesome birth.
Born to Frank and Mary (Weixel) Hendrickson of Quilcene, WA, Walt was the youngest in a family of eight children. He graduated from Quilcene High School and, like many youngsters of the area, spent time shucking oysters and helped his father build wooden boats. He married Betty Sowards in 1965 and his son, Ray Frank Hendrickson, soon followed. After the marriage ended, he moved to the West End to work in the woods and mills. There, he met Candy Basemore, at the Bear Creek Tavern owned by Candy’s mother, Mayone Basemore.
Marriage came on February 21, 1970, and his oldest daughter, Tamberly Gay at the end of that year. Danielle Marie followed 1973 and in 1976, they moved out to the Quillayute Prairie to the log house & farm that they built together.
Working at Allen’s Logging Mill for over 30 years until 2003 when an injury forced early retirement, he woke each morning to milk the cows and do the chores before commuting to the Hoh River mill.
Walt would take time for anyone and often would drive up the road to visit an older couple, Archie & Karen, and sit with them, knowing they didn’t often get visitors. He listened patiently to children’s endless babble and would nod sagely, so they knew he was paying attention. Where Walt went, there would always be a dog or two following, though he shared a special bond with his dachshund, Sadie, now long passed. He truly was a gentle soul, but also a man built with solid work ethic and enduring honesty.
Walt is survived by his wife of 53 years, Candy, his son Ray, his daughters, Tamberly Gordon (Bill) and Dani Hendrickson (Richard Jerden), his grandchildren: Seann Wallace, Randal Wallace, Crystal Gordon (Dmitriy Lisenkoff), William Gordon, and Ally Mon Wai, and step-grandsons, Nicholas and Aaron Jerden. He is also survived by his sister, Barbara Wilbur, and brother Ralph Hendrickson.
Walt’s family will be hosting a celebration of his life on Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 pm at the First Congregational Church of Forks, WA on 280 S. Spartan Ave. Everyone is welcome. Potluck to follow.