Cover photo for Charles Ernest Hendershot's Obituary
Charles Ernest Hendershot Profile Photo
1933 Charles 2018

Charles Ernest Hendershot

October 14, 1933 — July 16, 2018

Charles Ernest Hendershot was born on October 14, 1933, in Stringtown, Oklahoma, and departed this life on July 16, 2018, in Springfield, Missouri, at the age of 84 years, 9 months, and 2 days. He was the last of ten children born to James K. Polk Hendershot and Bessie (Beck) Hendershot.

The story of Charles' life is quite remarkable. His father died when he was 7 years old, so he was raised by a single mother who struggled to feed her children in the Kaimechi Mountains of southeastern Oklahoma. He quit school in the 3rd, 7th, and finally, the 9th grades, as his family traveled from Oklahoma to California in order to follow the crop harvests in the spring, then went back to Oklahoma when there were no more crops to pick or cotton to chop each year. His mother raised him in the Baptist faith and he was saved as a boy while attending Mt. Olive Church in Stringtown, Oklahoma, where his Mom and Dad were founding members. Charles and his brother, Jim, sang in the local churches all around Stringtown when they were growing up. His kids were surprised to find out, just a few years ago, that he could speak Choctaw, the native language of his mother.

When Charles was 17, he talked his mother into signing for him to join the Navy during the years of the Korean Conflict. While in the Navy, he obtained his G.E.D. He took a lot of pride in the fact that his last assignment, before his honorable discharge from the Navy, was as a Top Gun Crew Chief. Charles was so honored when he received his high school diploma and walked with the Stringtown High School graduates on May 5, 2014.

Charles had the good fortune to marry Ritta Lou Dobbs on February 12, 1954. With his bride by his side, he completed college at Fresno State and taught 12 years in the Los Angeles School District before moving his family to a dairy farm south of Norwood, Missouri, in 1972.

Charles and Ritta were partners in every sense of the word. They were successful dairy farmers and business people, operating C & R Trucking for many years. They retired in 1996, which gave Charles time to work on his other love, hot rods. He will be remembered by his friends for his passion for fast cars and for his love of drag racing.

Charles is survived by his wife of 64 years, Ritta; his son, Mike and daughter-in-law, Cheryl; two daughters, Amy Jordan and Laura Hendershot; grandaughters, Nicole Hendershot, Michele Smith and husband, Casy, Sarah Davis and husband, Mike, Lily Hendershot-Roy, Aliyah Hendershot, Jayden Jordan, and Heidi Shields and husband, William; grandsons, Logan Hendershot, Michael Jordan, Chris Bandy and wife, Brianne; great-grandchildren Wyatt Smith, Trevor Davis, Logan Shields, Nathan Bandy, Juniper Bandy, Aniyah Austin, Kingston Austin, and Kameron Austin; a host of nieces, nephews, and friends; and his faithful canine companion, Bella.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles Ernest Hendershot, please visit our flower store.


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