Jenny Mary Hendrycks, age 99, of North Mankato, passed away on Monday, May 15, 2023.
Funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m., on Monday, May 22, 2023 at Holy Rosary Catholic Church. Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m., on Sunday, May 21, 2023 at Northview – North Mankato Mortuary and will continue one hour prior to the service on Monday at the church. Burial will be in St. Nicholas Cemetery, rural Nicollet. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Jenny Mary VanderLouw was born to Dutch immigrant parents George and Wilhelmina (Blanken) VanderLouw on April 28th, 1924, in Butternut Township, Minnesota. Jenny was called ‘Babe’ until she was of school age; a name still used by her VanderLouw family. As the first day of country school approached, she asked her mother what she should be called. In Dutch her mother said, have them call you Jenny.
At her mother’s side Jenny learned the art of raising vegetables and animals, the upkeep of house and yard, to rise early and look at the bright side of life.
While a teen, a local youth took a fancy to Jenny. Jerome (Jerry) Hendrycks also came from parents who emigrated to Minnesota but from Belgium. In contrast to Jenny’s fair complexion and light hair, Jerry was darker in coloring. A handsome pair they were. Jerry courted Jenny by pedaling his bicycle from his parents’ farm to hers’ at times with a carton of ice cream to share between them. The two married on February 1, 1951, purchased a farm in New Sweden Township, Nicollet County, Minnesota, and there raised their family of eight children.
Ever the optimist, Jenny mothered her children with calm fortitude, believing firmly that in the most challenging of times through supportive assistance and unwavering love all could be made whole again.
Following Jerry’s death in 2013, Jenny lived independently in their North Mankato home until she entered nearby Oak Terrace Assisted Living. The door to her apartment was always open and staff frequently said Jenny was the sweetest of residents.
With a crown of white hair and eyes of cornflower blue Jenny was everything her family could ask for in a matriarch and role model.
Left to carry on her legacy are Paul (Louise), Charles (Marjean), J. Michael, Scott (Ruthie), Marjorie “Mitzi” (Bill) Arndt, DeAnne “DeDe” (Del) Strassburg, Justin “Judd” (Julie), and Bruce (Ann); 24 treasured grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren, with 3 more on the way; nieces, nephews, and friends.
Jenny was preceded in death by her husband, Jerome; parents, George and Wilhelmina VanderLouw; 5 brothers; 3 sisters; great-grandchildren, Taylor and Blair.