Rev. William Freeman Hendren passed away Friday, May 3, 2013 surrounded by family. He was born June 26, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Katherine Hendren, attended Morgan Park Military Academy, Morgan Park Illinois, graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and received his Master's of Theology Degree from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. He served in the United States Army from October 1950 until his honorable discharge in December 1952.
William married Aleen Lavinia Lettsome in August of 1956. They were blessed with three children: Robert, Jean (Ceddia), and Allen Hendren. He and Aleen moved to Ventura, California in 1966 when he was called to the ministry of Church of the Foothills, which was to become his life's calling. The family was host to 3 A.F.S. students during this time. After Aleen's death in 1984 he married Heather (Whipple) Hendren in October 1986 and continued his ministry in Ventura until his retirement.
A lifelong track and field runner he was inducted into the Carleton College sports Hall of Fame in 2002, and was a pioneer in the Ventura, Tigers youth track program. A lover of the arts and community Bill volunteered his time and talents to many organizations in and around the Ventura area including: Friends of the Library, Project Understanding, Interfaith Caregivers, Crop Walk, Habitat for Humanity, Amnesty International, served as president of the Ventura County Master Chorale, and was awarded for donating 100 gallons of blood to United Blood Services. He was an avid fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago White Sox.
A lifetime member of The Prairie Club, Bill spent a portion of every summer, except for the two he was on active duty, at the family cottages at Camp Hazlehurst in Harbert, Michigan. Known to many generations as "Uncle Bill" he enjoyed reading by the pond, challenging all takers to a game of Monopoly, swimming at the beach, and leading the annual hike to Warren Dunes State Park and the climbing of Mount Baldy.
Bill is survived by his wife Heather Hendren of Ventura, children Jean Ceddia of Mystic Connecticut, Allen(Barbara) Hendren of Apple Canyon Lake, Illinois, Chris (Jennifer) Whipple of Los Osos, Kent Whipple of Ventura, and Tonya (Kevin) Bean of San Clemente and 8 grandchildren: Emma and William Ceddia, Samantha and Jonathon Hendren, Lewin, Beckett and Felix Whipple, and Austin Bean. Bill is also survived by sister Margy (Bill) Lee of Skaneateles, New York. He will be lovingly remembered as "Uncle Bill" by his niece, nephews, and their families.
He was preceded in death by his first wife Aleen and son Robert.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, May 19, 2013 at the Church of the Foothills in Ventura California at 2:30 p.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Church of the Foothills Endowment Fund, which Rev. Hendren created to provide for needs within the church and in the community of Ventura.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Charles Carroll Funeral Home, 15 Teloma Drive, Ventura 805-642-8134. Please visit www.charlescarrollfuneralhome.com
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Published by Ventura County Star from May 10 to May 13, 2013.