Melvin Leroy Hendriks was born on January 28, 1935, in Edgerton to Benjamin and Lucy (Vander Linden) Hendriks. He attended school in Edgerton through the 8th grade. He enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 18. Mel was stationed in Colorado Springs and Washington DC where he was in the motor pool and drove a bus. He was proud to have guarded President Eisenhower when his plane took off and landed, and also stood guard at the Pentagon when important dignitaries were meeting there. After his discharge he returned to Edgerton. He was united in marriage to Annetta Bos on May 1, 1959. Together they had 4 children. Mel passed away Sunday, May 19, 2019, at Avera Sioux Falls, surrounded by the love of his family, at the age of 84.
Mel worked as a welder, a bus driver, and later owned his own mechanic and wheel alignment business. In 1974 Mel and Ann bought the school buses and he continued to drive until December, 2014, when his health forced him to retire. He sold his bus business to his son, Randy. Mel loved driving bus and many of his “kids” remember fondly having Mel as their driver.
Mel and Ann were avid collectors and spent countless hours at auctions, garage sales, and antique stores. Some of Mel’s favorites were his vintage vehicles, vintage cushman scooters, and of course his fishing tackle and lure collection. They also enjoyed many trips to Colorado, Florida, and Texas.
Mel and Ann loved to camp and in 1977 they bought a vacant lot on Lake Benton where they set their camper for a few years. They moved a house on and over the years built sheds, bought 10 acres across the road where they planted trees with a clearing for another house, the “Frat House” for the grand kids, then added some campers and a man cave. They were proud that when the whole family was there everyone had a bed. Friends and relatives and especially the grandkid’s friends were welcome at the lake. Mel loved his lake property and his happiest times were spent there with his family and driving his gator through his trees. It’s a wonderful legacy that his family will cherish even though it won’t be the same without him.
Mel loved his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. He would do anything for any one of them. He bought each of his grandchildren their first coaster wagon, first bicycle, and then their first car. He was very generous to his family and community. He was happy to donate to any school and community function and especially donated to the MDA every year. He also enjoyed working at the Dutch Festival concession stand and hosting the Edgerton Customer Appreciation Pancake Feed in his bus garage for many years.
Mel was known for his quick wit and sense of humor. Even through his recent health problems he always stayed upbeat and his doctors, nurses, and dialysis staff enjoyed his jokes.
Mel is survived by his wife, Ann; four children, Kimberly (Michael) Vanden Bosch, Vivian Anderson, Brenda (Ronald) Zwart, and Randy (Sandy) Hendriks; grandchildren, Seth Hendriks, Brooks (Trisha) Hendriks, Tana Zwart, Maxwell (Andrea) Zwart, Alexa (Jayson) Tillma, Samantha Vanden Bosch, Sydney Anderson; great grandchildren, Ashlynn, Kaisen, Kylan, Jace, and 2 on the way; siblings/in laws, Norm (Jan) Hendriks, Millie Hendriks, Dennis Fey, Herm (Jan) Bos, Wilma Lanners, Dennis (Patty) Parker, Jean (Dennis) Kuehl. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Wesley, sister Linda, sister-in-law Joan, brother-in-law Jack, brother-in-law Casey, and nephew Michael.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Melvin Leroy Hendriks, please visit our floral store.