Funeral for a well-respected Van Buren police officer will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Van Buren Worship Center at 1009 Main St.
David Hendrickson, 40, of Van Buren died Saturday after a lengthy battle with lung cancer.
The family will visit with relatives and friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Ocker Funeral Home, 700 Jefferson St., Van Buren. The family has requested that you wear the #superdave shirt.
Burial will be at Gracelawn Cemetery in Van Buren with police honors under the direction of Ocker Funeral Home in Van Buren.
Hendrickson served as a police officer for three years at the Van Buren Police Department and 12 years at the Fort Smith Police Department.
Words of grief poured out from fellow officers at the Van Buren Police Department and friends.
“I’m crushed that we can’t be funny together anymore but I’m even more crushed for your family,” said Officer George Edelen. “I’m going to miss talking about our kids together and how they are doing. I’m going to miss the calls we went on together.”
Detective Jonathan Wear and SRO Dewayne Richesin both said Hendrickson will be dearly missed.
“You are without pain now and I know we will meet again brother,” Richesin said.
Officer Wes Milam said the world is less bright without Hendrickson.
“He fought bravely but I’m glad he is no longer in pain,” Milam said. “He had the biggest heart and an even bigger sense of humor. He truly was one of a kind and I am going to miss him. I cannot begin to describe how my heart aches for his family.”
Chris Wilson fondly remembers an event 24 years ago when Hendrickson’s car broke down.
“I yelled ‘should have bought a Ford,’ then turned around, went back and gave him a ride home,” Wilson said. “That’s how our story began. I can honestly say we had a true friendship … no matter the last time we talked we always picked right back up where we left off.”
Sean Brown recalls Hendrickson’s days in television.
“His smile made a young TV reporter in a strange city feel right at home,” Brown said. “Whether we were covering a story or doing the pony dance, he was always smiling and that is how I will remember him. It is tough to wrap my mind around the fact that he is gone.”
Michael Holman remembers Hendrickson as an amazing person with a heart of gold.
“From your funny giggles to your cheesy grins you managed to capture the hearts of everyone you encountered,” Holman wrote on Facebook. “Seeing all the pictures and posts everyone is sharing of you is truly heartbreaking and magical all at once. You did well with this life David Hendrickson and you set the example for so many on what it means to fight til the very end.”
Joey Stormet said Hendrickson was his “brother from another mother, my friend, the Slash to my Axl.”
He said Hendrickson changed his view of police officers.
“He knew about my past and didn’t care,” Stormet wrote. “He was the only guy I know that would have a dance off with me anywhere at the drop of a hat, even though neither of us could dance one bit.”