Surrounded by the love of family, and in the comfort care of Pathways Hospice, Donna Hendricks entered into eternal life on November 8, 2017 at 1:58pm. She was truly looking forward to being reunited with her husband of almost 65 years, James L. Hendricks, who passed fifteen months prior.
Donna Grace Mahood was born and raised in Santa Cruz where her father, the Reverend Heber St. Claire Mahood, was the minister of the First Congregational Church and her mother, Grace Amelia Docken Mahood was active in the church and the community as well. Donna adored her older siblings Hyllis (born in 1919) and Leland (born in 1922), and the three greatly enjoyed growing up in downtown Santa Cruz where the church was located at that time. Donna recalled with tremendous fondness the people, the environmental beauty, and the feeling of safety in Santa Cruz during her childhood, as well as all of the fun times at the Coconut Grove and The Plunge. She attended Laurel School, Mission Hill Middle School, and was a proud graduate of Santa Cruz High School, Class of 1948.
Inheriting a talent for music from her mother, Donna studied piano at the College of the Holy Names, and began a lifelong career as a piano teacher. At "five feet two with eyes of blue" and flowing black hair, Donna caught the eye of handsome Jim Hendricks at work at the San Jose Mercury News. Six months later, the two eloped to Santa Barbara where they were married at the Congregational Church on December 26, 1951. Creating a loving home and raising a family became the focus of the hardworking young couple, a commitment that stood the test of time. Our mom could make a huge meal out of few ingredients, bake anything that would benefit from lots of sugar and butter, sew clothing without a pattern, and knit the most beautiful sweaters imaginable. Laughter, love, food, messes, hugs, and the sound of music were all a part of our lives.
Donna is survived by her children, Craig Hendricks and Karen Hendricks, as well as the five granddaughters who were the light of their grandparents' lives: Natalie, Casey, Tierney, Kyrsta and Lyssa. She also leaves behind especially dear nieces and nephews and their families: Becky and Blaine Neagley, Bruce and Connie Mahood, Mike and Lola Long, Jim and LeAnn Long, Kathy McCarthy McPhillips, Geri Nunes, Corri Nunes Pato and Susie Nunes Hartline.
It's fitting and wonderful that our mother's precious baby grand piano is now with the Hughes Family; Karen Hughes Stebbins soared as a pianist under Donna Hendricks' instruction and played a special role in mom's life for decades. Donna also leave behind precious family friends, including Bob and Mary Burns, and Kim Fick.
We find peace in knowing that our mother and grandmother is home with all of the friends and family who have gone before her. Interment will be at the Central Coast Veterans Cemetery, where she will have final rest with her husband. Arrangements are entrusted to Gary Benito, Benito & Azzaro Pacific Garden Chapel.
The family is truly grateful to all who have shared the journey of Jim and Donna Hendricks' lives with us. We're heading into days that mom cherished: Thanksgiving, her birthday (which was enjoyed for years with her daughter as a birthday and holiday shopping trip to Santa Barbara), Christmas Eve (her special night!) Christmas Day and our parents' wedding anniversary. This year, her celebrations will be on glories high.
Donna would be so happy if you would raise a glass, bring flowers to a loved one, enjoy some music, sit by the ocean, or celebrate life in any way that brings you joy! Donations to Hospice in your community are greatly appreciated. The expert care and generous spiritual and emotional support provided by the Pathways Hospice team will never be forgotten by Donna's family. We hope their mission to benefit and comfort families in need may continue for many years to come.
Psalm 23 rd. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.