Ralph William Hendershott, Sr. age 89 years of Niles, Michigan died peacefully at 10:15 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, 2016 with his family gathered around at his home in Niles following a brief illness.
He was born on June 26, 1927 in LaPorte, Indiana to Benjamin Peter and Elgie (Odykirk) Hendershott. He enlisted in the United States Air Force near the end of World War II, and was stationed in the Territory of Alaska as foreign service, prior to Alaska’s statehood. He was discharged in 1949 as a Veteran of World War II, and settled in Niles. He was a member of the United Automobile Workers Union Local #590, and was employed for thirty-three years at the former South Bend, Indiana plant of the Torrington Company.
Ralph attended Saint Mary Catholic Church in Niles. He enjoyed traveling throughout the western United States. He maintained a large vegetable garden and a well-kept yard.
On November 13, 1948 in Saint Joseph, Michigan he married the former Lucia J. Brothers with whom he would have celebrated this Sunday the remarkable Sixty-eighth anniversary of their wedding.
Surviving family includes his wife, Lucia Hendershott and their children, Ralph W. (& Suzette) Hendershott, Jr. of Buchanan, Michigan and Janet M. Hendershott of Niles; grandchildren Levi (& Monica) Hendershott and Carisa (& Randy) Simpson; great-grandchildren Ginger Hendershott, Devon Simpson, and Esme Simpson; and Ralph Sr.’s sister, Shirley McKinley of Lafayette, Indiana and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and by thirteen siblings: Harold, David, Harvey, Wayne, Clyde, Edna, Mary, Ruth, Dollie, Doris, Anna Mae, Dorothy, and Hazel.
The Catholic Funeral Liturgy for Ralph Hendershott, Sr. will be read at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home in Niles by the Rev. Christian Johnston of Saint Mary Catholic Church. Committal Rites will follow at the Silverbrook Cemetery in Niles and will conclude with the Veteran’s Flag Presentation and “Taps” by the United States Air Force Honor Guard.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home. Contributions in memory of Ralph may be made to the Niles Senior Center, 1109 Bell Road, Niles, Michigan 49120.