Carol Hendricks: A life of beauty

  • Carol spends quality time with her grandson Luke Hendricks, great-granddaughter KyleeAnn Holland and granddaughter Dylan Hendricks last month. (COURTESY PHOTO/AUBREY ROBLES)

  • Pete and Carol Hendricks spend the day at a Hilo canoe regatta in the 1970s. She started paddling for Kawaihae Canoe Club when it first started.

  • Carol Hendricks sits by the stream in Waimea Nature Park. She was a founding member of the park, which opened in 1999. (COURTESY PHOTOs/AUBREY ROBLES)

WAIMEA — When Carol Hendricks passed away on April 17, Waimea lost a community member dedicated to beautification.

Born in San Diego, California, Carol and her husband, Pete, moved to Honokaa from Oahu in 1967 and then to Waimea in 1969.

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She held a number of positions as a CPA, a real estate broker, as well as working for a number of years at Lucy Henriques Medical Center at North Hawaii Community Hospital.

“She handled all the insurance. Carol was the first person you would see walking in the door of Lucy Henriques years ago,” Pete recalled.

Carol, along with three other women, were the founding members of Waimea Outdoor Circle, which began in 1989.

“They were cutting down the cypress trees back behind where the butcher shop used to be, so they went to Kona Outdoor Circle and they encouraged them to start a Waimea chapter. They sent out letters and got enough members to start a chapter,” Pete said. “She focused on community beautification and environmental management. She was a very practical person and very productive and a really good leader too.”

Carol eventually became the president of Waimea Outdoor Circle and then became statewide Outdoor Circle president — the first neighbor island president in their history which gave her the opportunity to work with Lorraine Inoye, who was Hawaii County’s mayor at the time.

“She kind of had a quarter time, unpaid job going back and forth to Honolulu,” Pete said.

Carol was also a founding member of the Ulu La’au – Waimea Nature Park that began in 1999.

“The nature park is 10.3 acres, zoned commercially. Carol worked for almost six years with DLNR to get a lease. We planted the first little tree and Ulu Garmon blessed it,” Pete said. “Back in there, when HPA started at St. James, they used to keep horses in that area. It was all Christmas berry and weeds and stuff, but little by little they created what is there today.”

Carol was also involved in other community beautification projects, helping to keep Waimea green.

“She worked on the improvements in the middle of town when we put in all the wider roads with the medians. Waimea Outdoor Circle, with Carol at the forefront, lobbied and fought to get landscaped medians, to plant them and maintain them,” Pete said. “The county finally gave in. They were going to pave them.”

Carol was also on the county arborist committee and worked toward saving significant trees in certain areas.

In addition to her community efforts, she also was involved with the Kawaihae Canoe Club.

“She’s always been an athlete. She started paddling for Kawaihae Canoe Club when it first started. We had our first meeting in the court house, which is now the Senior Center, in the fall of 1972. And now two of our grandchildren 12 and 9 are paddling for Uncle Manny,” Pete said.

Carol is survived by husband; daughter, Aubrey Robles, of Waimea; sons, Nathan (Carrie) Hendricks of Kailua-Kona, Scott (Julie) Hendricks of North Kohala; sister, Dee Dee (Mario) Pinto of Colorado; brother, Jefte Hamilton of California; five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

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A celebration of life in her honor will be held at 12-noon May 5 at Ulu La’au – Waimea Nature Park, with a service commencing at 1 p.m. Refreshments will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be made to Ulu La’au or North Hawaii Hospice. Condolences to the family may be sent to P.O. Box 915, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743. For more information call 885-4453.