William John Hendell, Colonel, USA (Retired)
Colonel (Ret.) William John Hendell passed away on Friday the 2nd of November at Good Samaritan Hospice in Cabot, PA, after a brief fight with pancreatic cancer. Known as Bill to all who knew, and loved him, he was the respected patriarch of a large family to whom he was devoted and revered.
Bill Hendell was born on the 23rd of May 1945 in Mount Vernon, New York to William and Kathleen Hendell. Over the course of his childhood, he moved many times with his Air Force father and lived in New York, Mississippi, the Philippines, and Okinawa where he graduated from Kubasaki High School.
He entered US Army service, as a private, in 1963 and continued for the next 29 and ½ years. In the years to follow, he served throughout Southeast Asia, the continental United States, and more than 5 years in Germany. Bill was an accomplished Soldier and his potential for future leadership quickly identified. After several years as an enlisted Soldier, he attended the Signal Officer Candidate School at Fort Gordon, Georgia and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1966 as a Distinguished Military Graduate. He then trained as a fixed-wing (and later rotary-wing) aviator and deployed to Vietnam for the first of several combat tours. Subsequent assignments culminated in promotion to his final rank of Colonel and retirement in 1993. Other key achievements over those years include multiple command assignments at the detachment, company, and battalion (2nd Battalion 58th Aviation Regiment) levels, designation as a dual-rated Master Army Aviator, graduation from the U.S. Army War College, and service as a senior staff member in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Bill’s decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, 6 Meritorious Service Medals, the Bronze Star, 16 Air Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, and an array of service and campaign awards from service in Europe and South Vietnam.
Bill continued to work after his military retirement as a manager for several Northern Virginia companies and in a final position at Walmart in Fredericksburg.
He was a devoted husband and enjoyed 50 years of marriage to Carol Anne Hendell. This union produced six children, 15 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his beloved daughter Shannon Anne Hickok in 2014 and bride in 2016.
He is survived by his remaining children, their spouses, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and siblings. Survivors include: William J. Hendell, SFC (US Army – Ret.) and Tammy Hendell of Karns City, PA, Matthew T. Hendell, (Lt Col, USAF) and Christine Hendell of York, PA, Thomas M. Hendell, Esq, of Charlottesville, VA, his youngest daughter Suzannah N. Young and Josh Young of Fredericksburg, VA, Michael N. Hendell and Samantha Hendell of Atlanta, GA, as well as his sisters Christine Hendell of Atlanta, GA and Patricia Elliott of Michigan.
Funeral services, with full military honors, are pending at Arlington National Cemetery where he will rest, in perpetuity, with his wife Anne.
Bill was a man of great intensity, purpose, humor and humanity who devoted his life to family and service. He will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him.