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Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes

205 E Washington, DeWitt, MI

OBITUARY

Thomas Alan Hendrickson

February 14, 1944February 11, 2020

Thomas Alan Hendrickson, age 75, passed away February 11, 2020 in DeWitt, MI following a short illness. He was born February 14, 1944 in Bessemer, MI to Alvin and Maxine (Hartwig) Hendrickson. Tom graduated from Wausau High School and from the University of Wisconsin. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1970. From 1970-1972 he was an assistant AG-Criminal Prosecution Unit for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. He was a Police Legal Advisor for the Lansing, MI Police Department from 1973-1974. He was a Supervising Attorney/Assistant Director at the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Washington, DC from 1974-1978. He served as the Executive Director of Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (MACP) from 1978 until his retirement in 2011. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. Alvin and Maxine Hendrickson, and his sister Susan H. Chandler. Tom is survived by his nephew John Chandler (his wife Renee and children Tommy and Tyler) and his niece Jennifer Chandler (her children Hannah Milligan and Zachary Milligan), many cousins, and numerous friends. Tom was best known for his sense of humor and love of a good joke. His humility, integrity, kindness and love were known to all whose lives he touched. He loved playing golf with his friends, visiting with family and friends, and serving the law enforcement community. He was a survivor of childhood polio who never let that hinder him. In high school he played football and ran hurdles in track with his father's blessing despite reluctance from his doctors. Tom enjoyed reading historical accounts of World War II as his uncle had served as a physician. More than anything Tom valued the special relationships he had with family and close friends. Tom guided MACP for more than 32 years. He was known for his leadership, mentorship, and for the friendships he developed in his years of service to the law enforcement family. He was thrilled when MACP named their annual summer conference golf tournament after him. During his illness Tom heard from dozens of chiefs and departments about the lasting impact he had, and it touched him deeply. Tom will be missed by all who knew and loved him. A celebration of his life is being planned for spring 2020.

Services

  • Celebration of Life at a later date.

Memories

Thomas Alan Hendrickson

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Tom and Beth O'Connell

February 18, 2020

Tom was our neighbor and over the course of 34 years he not only became our dear friend, he became part of our family.
We shared many times together. There were those sad times when we consoled each other through the losses of our loved ones and then there were the good times when we celebrated each others milestone moments.
Tom watched our daughters grow up. He danced at their weddings and saw our grandchildren come into our lives.
He was the life of our parties. He was our "Fire Marshall" at our midnight New Year's Eve tree lightings and the Judge at our Chili Cookoffs. We spent many holidays together at which Tom would arrive with a fistful of lottery scratch offs for everyone.
Tom was an avid animal lover. He had a white cat named "Kitty", who lived to the ripe old age of 19 thanks to Tom's loving care. Tom used to tell the story about coming home from work one day and pulling off to the side of the road. He got out of the car and stopped the traffic so that a Mother duck and her ducklings could safely cross the road. He never thought of his own safety at the time, he just wanted to be sure the ducks got across the road safely.
When Tom had a heart attack years ago we were concerned because he lived alone. How would we know if he needed help? (This was way before cell phones.) Tom devised a plan where he would open his drapes in the front window each morning so we knew that he was alright. We have spent all the years since looking across the street to see that the curtains were opened reassured that Tom was okay. Old habits die hard. We find ourselves still looking across the street and then realize that Tom is no longer there. We feel such a void in our lives, but, we will keep Tom's memory alive in our hearts forever.
Rest in peace dear friend.

Libby Carlsson

February 18, 2020

Tom and I met over 50 years ago......he was my boyfriend in the early to mid 1960's and after that, a dear friend. He was a good soul with a kind heart and will be missed dearly by those who knew him.

Stephen Renico

February 17, 2020

Will miss Tom and the wonderful times we all had at board meetings and conferences. Always enjoyed his company and his ready laugh and the fact that he was so devoted to MACP and law enforcement. He made a huge difference is everything he did and he will be missed by all. Rest in peace my dear friend.

Cheryl St Louis

February 15, 2020

My heart is so empty without my friend to chat with me Daily or receive emails from him. Miss you Tommy, love you to the moon and back. My love to your family💕💕 till we meet again...

Jim Lobas

February 14, 2020

First met Tom as freshmen in a dorm at UW. Became good friends and shared many stories. He told me about dating a pretty girl named Laurel in high school in Wausau. 8 years later I returned to Green Bay from Viet Nam and met a girl named Laurel from Wausau. Yep, same girl. We’ve been married 48 years. Tom attended our wedding. Tom and I corresponded regularly and shared our lives and our highs and lows. We had similar senses of humor and we shared many, many laughs. Laurel and I will miss you, my friend. Rest In Peace!

Ed Glomb

February 14, 2020

Tom was a good man and friend. He did a great job and always greeted you with a smile and by name. I think he knew everyone in the association by their first name. I’ll miss him.

Ed Glomb

Linnea ANDERSON

February 13, 2020

I'll miss the side-splitting comic bits that Tom emailed me over the years: He had a great sense of humor. We shared many memories over many years.

Terry Jungel

February 13, 2020

Tom was not only a mentor to me but to many others. More importantly Tom was a good friend and I enjoyed our many golf outings together. After Tom retired he would call me around 2 o’clock on a Thursday afternoon and say “you are the executive director you can go golfing anytime you want, I know I taught you better than that. “ And encourage me to come golf with him.
Which now that I’m retired from the association I can admit I frequently did. Rest In Peace brother — you’ve earned your wings.

Jim Freeman

February 13, 2020

I had the pleasure of meeting Tom during the purchase of his mom and dad’s home on Fence lake, Lac du Flambeau in 2012. He called me during the offer and we talked for over 3 hours sharing north woods stories. During that time, he kept asking me if I was going to tear his parents house down and build a new one. I said,” no, but judging by those lake steps, your mom has not been down to the lake in 30 years. We will be building new steps. We laughed and he signed the offer. I did extend to him many invites to come over and stay, but he did not make it over. We did stay in touch and I did make it over to Lansing on business one time and did get to share breakfast and many more stories with Tom, a true gentleman. My family and friends continue to enjoy Fence lake and will do so for generations to come. Thank you my friend and Rest In Peace. Jim Freeman

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY