Jean S. Hendzel
Jean S. Hendzel, beloved wife of the late Walter Hendzel, passed away peacefully on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, surrounded by her family at Clark County Living and Rehab Center in Owen. Despite having grandchildren now in their 40s, Jean’s age managed to stay forever at 49, and no one dared question her on this particular topic. Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 at St. Stanislaus Church in Lublin. Visitation was held at the church on Saturday from 9 a.m. until the time of the service. A luncheon was served in the church basement after the cemetery service.
Jean Sophie Juszkiewicz was born on May 17, 1926 in Lublin to Frank and Frances (Nowak) Juszkiewicz. She was raised on the family farm and attended Lublin School. She was united in marriage to Walter J. Hendzel on Nov. 3, 1945. Walter and Jean lived and farmed in the town of Roosevelt from 1945 to 1978. In addition to helping with the family farm, gardening and raising six children, Jean sold Avon since 1960, sold Amway and was an active member of St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, the Rosary Society and the Lublin American Legion Auxiliary.
Jean put family first and enjoyed being surrounded by her family and friends. She loved to feed not only her family, but anyone who happened to stop by, with food always on the table, something always in the oven and her directive for them to “Eat, eat!” Everyone was welcomed at Jean’s table, from people delivering packages to extended friends of her family. Many people shared that table over the years, drawn in by the food and laughter. She made many delicious foods, but was especially known for her pierogi, golumpki (cabbage rolls), chicken dumpling soup, apple pies and enormous potato salads. Jean often fed the community as well, with jobs cooking and serving school lunches at both the Lublin and Gilman schools and as a volunteer, for many years, organizing and operating a hot dog and snack booth at the annual St. Stanislaus Church Bazaar.
Jean had a deep sense of love and gratitude. She prayed for everyone she knew and even for some she didn’t know. She supported by mail many charities, and she often sponsored masses in honor of those she loved. When anyone needed extra prayers, she was off to church to light a candle. With such a large family and circle of friends, at times she was lighting candles so frequently that her family teased her about being careful not to burn down the church. When Jean was teased by her family, she would laugh but also give her trademark warning, a unique “mmmm- mmm” followed by a waggle of her finger. Her husband, Walter Hendzel, was a frequent recipient of the finger waggle. She did this all with a sense of glamour, wearing her trademark red Avon lipstick and regal jewelry. Jean was an attractive woman with a sense of spunk and sparkle about her. Jean sold Avon for over 50 years and was a loyal advocate of her company. As a businesswoman, she won many company awards and recognition for her service with Avon and was proud to showcase them in her hutch. She enjoyed preparing for the holidays every year by hosting an annual Avon Christmas shopping party in her basement that many in the community visited, and that her family remembers fondly as part of the holiday season.
Jean somehow did all of this with a relaxed smile and a sense of humor, and made it seem so simple that it was easy to underestimate just how much Jean was doing every day. As she would sometimes say, “There is no grass growing under my feet.” Which was certainly true when she danced the polka.
With Jean, family always came first, she was their biggest cheerleader throughout all life events big or small and when things were not going well she would say “everything will be fine” which always made everything easier. She had the most beautiful smile and a very big heart that touched the lives of many. Owners and staff at New Horizon Community Care and staff at Clark County Rehab told the family that they really loved to see her beautiful smile. They told us that she seemed to know when they were having a bad day and she would smile, give them a hug and that brightened their day. So many times, they would come to visit her even if they were not working with her that day.
Jean will be sadly missed by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her many friends in the community. She is survived by two sons, Walter (Marie) Hendzel Jr. of Chicago and Edward (Rachel) Hendzel of Gilman; three daughters, Barb Hendzel and (the late Sandy Bashaw) of Thorp, Theresa (Ray) Kliscz of Lublin and Laurie (Tom) Schertler of Chicago; one son-in-law, Greg Sromek (the late Jean Sromek); 11 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Walter Hendzel; her sister, Mae Ochab/Tokarz; her daughter, Jean Sromek; and many beloved extended family and friends.
Online condolences may be expressed at www. cuddiefh.com. Thorp Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Paid Obituary 83628