Richard I. Hendra

PUNTA GORDA, FL. – Richard I. Hendra, age 77, of Punta Gorda, FL and Ishpeming, MI passed away on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at the Charlotte Regional Medical Center in Punta Gorda, FL.

Richard was born June 14, 1936 in Stambaugh, MI, the son of the late Roy and Dagmar (Augustson) Hendra. The family moved to Marquette where he graduated from the Graveraet High School, Class of 1954. Richard furthered his education at Northern Michigan University, receiving a bachelor degree in mathematics and later his master’s degree in administration. Richard worked for several school districts, including as a teacher in Menominee, Superintendent of Schools at Mackinac Island and Bark River Harris School Districts, moving to Lansing he worked for the Dept. of Education during which time he received his PHD in Public Education Administration from Michigan State University. He then became Superintendent at the following districts – Western School District near Jackson, MI, Comstock Park School District, Holly School District, prior to being named Superintendent of the Ishpeming Public School District in 1982, from which he retired in 1989.

Richard was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church and the Elks Lodge in Ishpeming and the Moose Lodge in Punta Gorda, FL. He was a Steam Train fanatic and a member of the Upper Peninsula Gas and Steam Engine Association. He and his wife enjoyed their retirement years, having traveled to 49 of the 50 states, along with European vacations, and had spent their winters in Florida for the past 21 years. Richard enjoyed his Ford 1930 Model A Woody, which he and his wife annually rode in Ishpeming’s Fourth of July Parade, along with his 1929 Ford Pickup. Richard will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humor and wittiness. He loved spending time at his log cabin on the Ford River.

Survivors include his wife Ruth C. (Wangerin) Hendra of Ishpeming, whom he married on June 4, 1960 in Stephenson, MI, two sons Ron (Dawn Mills) Hendra and Rick Hendra both of Ishpeming, a sister Jeanne (Bill) Mainville of Benzonia, MI, four grandchildren Desiree, Kara, Ricky and Damion, and great grandson Gavin, step sister Carol Wellings of California, along with sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his stepbrother, Charles Lindberg.

The family will greet relatives and friends from 5 until 8pm on Sunday November 10, 2013 at the Bjork & Zhulkie Funeral Home and again on Monday, November 11, 2013 at the Wesley United Methodist Church from 10 11am. Funeral services for Dr. Hendra will follow at 11:00am on Monday, November 11, 2013 at the Wesley United Methodist Church with the Rev. Scott Lindenberg to officiate. Interment will take place at the Ishpeming Cemetery. A luncheon will follow the service in the church hall.

Pallbearers will be Ralph Watters, John Peterson, Greg Lindstrom, Dick Lutey, Jerry Wangerin and Kris Wangerin.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Ishpeming Salvation Army, or to Camp Michigamme at in Richard’s memory.

Richard’s obituary may also be viewed at where relatives and friends may leave a note of remembrance.