Larry "J" Hendricks, 79, of Lewisville, died Wednesday, April 30, 2014, at home with family and loved ones.
He was born May 28, 1934, in the LDS Hospital on Memorial Drive in Idaho Falls, the son of Clinton Smith Hendricks and Delpha Myrtle Butler. He attended school in the Rigby area. He was a member of the National Guard. After the death of his father, his mother purchased a café and they moved to Preston, Idaho. He completed high school there and entered the Navy.
Larry was an only child and he joined the Navy to become a man and learn life's lessons. One of these lessons included submarine training that allowed him to be a crew member on the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, to travel under the polar ice cap. They submerged as they went under the Golden Gate Bridge and resurfaced in the New York harbor. He was a marksman and survived an attack in Vietnam that took the lives of many of his fellow crewmen.
While in the service stationed in Japan, he trained with Imperial Guards and earned a black belt in martial arts. It was there he met Grace Mae Meche, a WAC from Louisiana, and they married, according to Japanese custom, first Oct. 3, 1956, in Zame and again Oct. 6, 1956 in Yokohama. While stationed there, they were blessed with the first of six children, Clinton.
Larry served in several capacities during his Navy career, including cooking and baking school, sub tender on the destroyer class USS Stembel, shore duty and four years in Morocco. His last assignment before retirement in 1970 was at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
With service to his country complete, he moved to Rayne, La., to devote himself to his family. By this time, Clinton had three brothers and a sister.
Larry worked the land with Grace's father, had a chemical business and sold insurance. He was a member of the Baptist Church and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. His military career was distinguished, he received many commendations and was a true patriot.
Grace died May 1, 2006, after 50 years of marriage, and Larry returned to Idaho to visit family and catch up on missed adventures with his cousin, Garn Thueson.
He, always being fortunate, was able to renew his friendship that started in 1949 with VeOna Hansen Hayes and they married in November in Mountain Home, Idaho.
The past few years were spent traveling between Lewisville and Rayne. When health became an issue, they stayed at Lewisville where he was cared for by Solace. Personnel were able to ease his pain and make life more enjoyable -- our thanks to them! He and VeOna reminisced and enjoyed the serenity of his aquarium designed by his step-grandson, Tom Strong.
He took great pride in the accomplishments of his children, and was humbled that two grandsons plan to follow his Navy career.
Larry dedicated his life to his family and friends. He was a man of great sacrifice and his only wish was that his family love and cherish each other.
Larry is survived by four sons, Clinton William (Susan) of Kissimmee, Fla., Larry Jay (Joyce) of Las Vegas, Anthony Kae (Millie) of Denver and Steven Dell (Tina) of Suwanee, Ga.; one daughter, Glenna Rachel "Sissy" (Johnny) Hale of Flowery Branch, Ga.; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He is also survived by stepsons, Greg Hayes of Lewisville, Idaho, and David Hayes of Idaho Falls; and stepdaughter, TeriLyn Chenoweth Johnson (Fred) of Casper, Wyo.
He was preceded in death by one son, Michael Hendricks.
Funeral arrangements are being coordinated with Gossens Funeral Home in Louisiana. Burial will take place at Arceneaux Cemetery. Graveside and military services are planned. Family will receive friends from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. today, May 3, at Eckersell Memorial Chapel in Rigby.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.eckersellfuneralhome.com.