James Robert “Jim Bob” Hendrickson, 65, died Saturday, but his family said some memories will always stick around to keep them laughing.
“He was the biggest little kid I ever met,” said son Todd Hendrickson, who said his father’s antics were on par with his big heart.
Todd Hendrickson said travelers often came to his father’s tire shop in need of some type of repair.
Rather than make people wait, Todd Hendrickson said his dad would simply say, “Here, take my truck — just bring it back.”
Todd Hendrickson said the same people who borrowed and then returned the truck would often return with friends.
“It’s like they wanted to say, ‘I told you this guy was for real,’” Todd Hendrickson said.
Tucumcari Tire Company, which Jim Bob Hendrickson established and operated for 28 years, was not his only business.
He also served as Quay County commissioner from 1992 to 1996 with some of his proudest moments including the County Health Department building and county fire houses.
Nola Hendrickson remembered her husband’s common-sense approach to overseeing taxpayer money.
“He would say ‘Waste is a terrible thing to mind,’” she said.
“They even had bumper stickers made. It was to protest spending so much money on a feasibility report for the landfill when the money could have been spent on the actual landfill.”
Before his time helping motorists and Quay County, Jim Bob Hendrickson spent time teaching science and football in El Paso. Born on Dec. 6, 1939, in Hobbs to LaHoma and Bobby Hendrickson, he grew up in Oil Center with a father who was a pioneer in the oil and gas industry. He went on to graduate from Texas Western University with a degree in biology.
“I didn’t think he had it in him,” Todd Hendrickson said of the buckle-down studies of biology. “I didn’t think he knew what an amoeba was,” he laughed.
Family members said Jim Bob Hendrickson did not cease to amaze them — or make them chuckle — with his many talents and penchant for making lifelong friends.
“To this day we still have people come back (to the tire shop) to say ‘Thank you, your dad did wonderful things,’” Todd Hendrickson said. “He would give you the shirt off his back — and his pants if you asked him.”
Jim Bob Hendrickson was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Charlotta Robertson.
He is survived by his wife, Nola; his sons, Todd Hendrickson, Brett Hendrickson (and wife, Samra) all of Albuquerque, and Clint Dougherty (Christine) of Tucumcari; his daughter Whitney Reid of Phoenix; three grandchildren; his sisters, Kay Lord (Bob) of Eunice, and Betty Lacy (Roy) of San Angelo, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Cremation will take place, as per his wishes. Arrangements are by Dunn Funeral Home in Tucumcari.
Services: 10 a.m. today at Dunn’s Chapel in Tucumcari.