Richard (Rick) Hendrick

Celebration of Life: Friday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.

Correct day of Celebration is Friday, Nov. 12

Richard (Rick) Hendrick            

                          Nov. 12, 1942 – Dec. 6, 2020

               Richard (Rick) Hendrick, 78,  of Brewster,  passed away on Dec. 6, 2020 after  a short battle with declining health.  He was born in Guilford, New York.  After graduating from high school in 196l he and his buddy, George, enlisted in the Marines.  Richard was deployed to Viet Nam after attending radio school in Camp LaJune, North Carolina.  He served two years of duty, earning the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Rifle Expert and Pistol Sharpshooter badges.

              He spent the next 10 years employed in several different jobs, both back East and in Washington State including:  tree pruner, roofer, seasonal orchard worker, bartender and park ranger.  After years of bus trips to Washington State, and then back East he decided to stay out West and settled in the Brewster area.  In July, 2000 he purchased three acres on Valley Road where he planted trees and shrubs to make an attractive place for birds and other wildlife.  He took lots of photos of wildlife at his place and when out birding.  He also became a beekeeper.

              His favorite pastime was bird watching and  learning their scientific names, which he used in his monthly and daily journals.  This interest led him to volunteering for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, particularly in Douglas County. He built, installed and maintained boxes for Wood Ducks and Kestrels in a large area.  During the winter months he also kept many bird feeding stations well stocked.  For these efforts the Department awarded him their Volunteer of the Year Award in 2006.  Richard had a banding permit and banded hundreds of baby Kestrels  from the boxes he maintained.  He also banded small owls that sometimes used the boxes, as well as other hawks and owls when he found their nests.

            Richard's interest in birds also played a part in him becoming involved with the beginning of the Chelan Ridge Raptor Migration Project, where he was one of the first official counters.  In 1997 he helped the original observer, Dan Rossman build the baseline for all future counts.  He spent hundreds of hours in  subsequent years watching the raptors head South.  He found many ways each year to contribute, as stated in the 2009 Hawk Watch International report, where he was named as their Volunteer of the Year.  Reasons they gave for this honor included that “he spends at least 40 hours of his own time before the project starts clearing trails, mowing trapping sets, and even getting large rocks out of the road.  He brings food to the crew from his garden and honey from his bees.  Capturing sparrows for use as lure birds is another of his numerous contributions.”

            Each year in the fall Rick liked to drive back East, stopping at several hawk watch sites on the way to spend time at his favorite spot, Franklin Mountain near Oneonta, New York.  He timed those trips so he'd be back in Washington for the Marine Corps birthday, as he provided a specially decorated cake for all local veterans to share that day.

            Audubon Christmas Bird counts were something  he participated in for at least 30 years.  He helped establish the Bridgeport count, and attended counts in Wenatchee, Chelan, Grand Coulee and Twisp.  Richard will be missed by many birders in Washington State as well as in his home state, New York.

             Richard was preceded in death by his parents, and  brother Lloyd.  He is survived by a brother,  David and his wife, Phoebe of Otego, New York.  Richard's ashes were taken to the Bundy Cemetery near Oneonta, New York where he was laid to rest by his mother and brother on Oct. 2, 2021.  A  Celebration of his Life is planned for Friday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m., to be held outdoors at the Department of Wildlife  office at  54 Moe Road on Bridgeport Bar.  Lunch will be served,  including cake and ice cream.  Please come to share stories and hear about his last trip East. It is suggested that you bring your own chair and binoculars for possible birding.

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