December 9, 1918-November 4, 2012
In Loving Memory
Robert Wheeler Hendershott was born December 9, 1918, in Bend, Oregon, and died on November 4, 2012 in Seattle at age 93, after a brief but courageous battle with bladder cancer.
Bob was the son of Gustav and Mathilda Berg of Bend. After the early passing of his birth mother, his father gave Bob for adoption by Dr. & Mrs. Roy Hendershott of Bend who then raised Bob. He graduated from Bend High School in 1937, where he was student body president, an all-state football player and twice the Oregon state champion in the pole vault. He attended the University of Oregon where he played football and pole vaulted, was president of the Sigma Chi fraternity and graduated in 1941 with a degree in health and physical education. After service in the U.S. Navy in World War II, Bob earned a Masters Degree in education from the University of Washington in 1950.
Bob married his lifelong sweetheart Margaret Fuller on July 10, 1942. They were married for 65 years. They were the parents of sons Robert (1943) and Jon (1946). Margaret (2007) and Robert (2011) preceded Bob in passing. Bob is survived by son Jon of Mountain View, California; by daughter-in-law Connie Hendershott of Brier; by grand-daughters Kristen Yarbrough of Olympia and Megan Rudikoff (Roger) of Stanwood; great-grandchildren Kayla, Alexxa, Izahia, Zackary and Kailey; and by numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grand-nephews.
While serving during World War II as a Navy observation plane pilot in the South Pacific aboard the light cruiser U.S.S. Santa Fe, Bob was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal and, later in life, a Purple Heart.
After the war, Bob taught physical education at Klamath Union High School in Klamath Falls, Oregon, from 1946-54, where he also coached football and track. He led the football team to the state quarterfinals in 1948. He was inducted into the Bend High athletic and overall school halls of fame and the Klamath Union High athletic hall of fame.
In 1955, Bob joined the physical education staff at the University of Washington, where he taught until his retirement in 1981. While at the UW, he served as an assistant coach in both track and swimming. Bob also retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander.
Besides holding limitless love for his family, Bob shared a great love for the Hawai'ian islands with his wife Margaret. Their yearly trip to "the islands" was among his greatest joys. So was watching the football, baseball and soccer games played his great grandchildren.
He also enjoyed watching college football, especially the annual Oregon-Washington game, pro baseball games, plus collegiate and international track and field. And he enjoyed rounds of golf with other retired UW professors, as well as sharing Naval experiences with fellow members of the U.S. Cruiser Sailor's Association.
Bob's family wishes to deeply thank the radiology-oncology staff at the University of Washington Hospital and especially the staff at The Hearthstone care facility in Seattle for their dedicated care and support of Bob and his family.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Bob on January 12, 2013, at 12:00 p.m. at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park (11111 Aurora Ave. N.) in Seattle. Guests are welcome to wear Hawai'ian clothes in recognition of Bob & Margaret's love for the islands.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Bob's name to a charity of the giver's choice.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jan. 6 to Jan. 7, 2013