Robert Tierney Hendrickson

06/27/2011 5:50 PM |

Robert (Bob) Tierney Hendrickson, 77, passed away Thursday morning, June 23, at Port Jefferson Medical Facility in Port Jefferson, N.Y., after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was a Korean War veteran and resident of Peconic, N.Y., though he lived most of his days and raised a family in the Bayswater neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. He graduated Cum Laude from Adelphi University on Long Island.

Bob is survived by his high school sweetheart and loving wife of 57 years, Marilyn Maggio; their five children: Robert Laurence, Brian Scott, Karen Alene, Lauren Starre and Erik Tierney, as well as their spouses, Becky, Laura, Tony, Bob and Sue; 12 grandchildren: Chris, Erin, Brian, Andy, Ross, Adam, Brianna, Kristin, Nicholas, Brandon, Maegan and Matthew; three great-grandchildren: Christian, Ethan and Gavin; and one brother, John.

Known for his kind soul and love of the outdoors, Bob was part of a dying breed, where lives are led and livings are earned by way of one’s own hand. Success in his mind was achieved by actions and not monetary gains.
As one of his editors once noted: “He is the rarest of all human animals: the self-employed writer.” Interestingly, he worked side by side with his wife authoring over 40 books and countless articles for major newspapers and magazines. Every word was scribed in pencil on a yellow lined legal pad and then typed on paper by his wife before being submitted for publishing.

Perhaps best known for his Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins and series on American regionalisms, he also penned books on countless other topics — from how chewing gum came to be to why the Civil War began. His real passion, however, was writing short stories and poems, of which many have appeared in literary magazines around the globe and a full collection of which will be published by his family in remembrance of his literary life.

He was a man who valued honesty, and many enjoy recounting the story of how Bob once returned a $20 bill he found on the beach to a local police station. He was an avid gardener who spent many a morning laboring over the soil. Few people enjoyed a vegetable straight from the vine as much as he did. He loved to swim even in the coldest weather, at times traversing blocks of ice to swim in the frigid waters during the winter. He even swam with the occasional stray whale in the Rockaway inlet. Bob was out jogging several miles a day long before the nation began its fitness revolution or the advent of jogging apparel. He was a true triathelete, who was proud to have run in the first New York City Marathon.

Bob will be interred at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 30, at Calverton National Cemetery. For specific funeral details, please contact De Friest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold, N.Y.

This is a paid notice.