Doris Ruth Hendricks

She was born October 17, 1908, the daughter of Zelia Taylor and John R. Hendricks in Little Rock, Arkansas. At age two, her father died. She moved to Helena, Arkansas, and while there, her mother met and married Jerry Dowling. To this union was born two daughters, Audrey and Colleen, and two sons, Jerry and Charles. Doris started elementary school in Helena, Arkansas. Her family moved to Champaign, Illinois where she was enrolled in the 5th grade at the Marquette Grade School, attended Junior High, and returned to Helena, Arkansas to complete her high school education in 1935. She returned to Champaign in 1937, met and married Frank Hendricks, the Owner and Operator of the first African-American-Owned Body Shop in Champaign. When her mother passed away, it became her responsibility to take care of her two sisters and two brothers, and her stepfather.

Doris worked as a Cook at the Sigma Chi Fraternity for 10 years. She applied to and was employed by the University of Illinois Housing Division - Food Service and retired from there as a Food Service Supervisor after 20 years of service. After retirement, she was called back to work in Customer Relations in the Residence Halls and stayed for 3 years. Then she COMPLETELY retired.

Through these efforts and dedication, she was able to support her two sisters and two brothers and assist them in completing high school. Audrey and Colleen completed high school and college degrees - Colleen from Milliken University and Audrey from the University of Illinois. Both followed working in their chosen fields, Audrey as a Professor at the University of Chicago and New York University at Albany, New York and Colleen for the City of Chicago, until retirement. Audrey is deceased.

Colleen married Bruce Hayden from Tuscola, Illinois. To this union was born one daughter, Carla - who attended school in Chicago, finished college and worked in the Libraries in Chicago. She is presently the Director of the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, Maryland.

Doris was a long-time member of the Salem Baptist Church, serving in many capacities; a member of the Deborah Chapter #27, Order of Eastern Star; the Daughter of Isis and a Charter member of the Champaign County Section of the National Council of Negro Women.