On a warm blue sky October morning, Orval Hendrickson took his last ride.
Orval was born on April 8, 1944 to Melvin and Irene (Wiese) Hendrickson in Jamestown, ND. The family lived on a farm near Adrian until moving to Billings in the 50’s. In later years, he often reflected on good memories he had from those earlier days.
Orval attended Billings Senior High School and excelled in track and football. After high school he played softball for years. He went into the military and returned to Billings.
Orval retired after 28 years with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Dept. and was recognized with awards and life saving commendations. He was a marksman, and participated in law enforcement shoots. Even in recent years, people would stop and thank him for something he did for them.
Orval moved to Phoenix, AZ and graduated from MMI with Harley Davidson certification. He returned to Billings and owned Steel Horse Harley Davidson Repair. Motorcycles always played an important place in his life. He flat track raced and followed AMA racers. They affectionately called him, “the old guy”. He rode his bike to the Springfield Mile, to Seattle, to Delmar, CA, Las Vegas – camping by himself along the way. That was before using a windshield. After many road trips through the west, Canada and Mexico, Orval spent the past four summers living on his boat at Canyon Ferry. He watched sunrises and sunsets from the slip at the entrance of the marina. He weathered summer storms and an earthquake during that time.
Orval is survived by his children
Jody (Mark) Sulser – Ben, Morgan, Gabe
Amy Hendrickson of Denver, Colorado
Mindee (Ryan) Stabio – Bella, Adalynn, Rick
Jason (Amanda) Hendrickson – Carter, Colin
His brother Arvin (Ginne) Hendrickson of Jamestown
His sister Crystal (Skip) Stanaway of Portland
And cousins, nephews and nieces who described him as “a fun uncle”. He was a good dad. Orval loved his children and grandchildren.
Orval is survived by his wife, Gidget Hendrickson and her son Colt Draine of Vancouver, grandchildren Adam, and by his checker playing, motorcycle riding, fishing/boating first mate, and best friend, Damara.
Orval lived life on his own terms.
A special thank you to all his early morning coffee gang at the club. He appreciated the camaraderie and the laughter.
“Time to rock and roll”