Obituary of Mary Jane Hendrickson
Mary Jane Hendrickson, age 80, of Rome, passed away peacefully on October 31, 2023, at Rome Health, surrounded by her loving family.
Mary Jane was born in Rome on October 8, 1943 to the late Nicasio and Marie Antoinette (Doria) Montalbano, and graduated from RFA in 1961. On August 2, 1963, she was united in marriage to George Hendrickson, Jr. in Rome. Mary Jane worked as a legal secretary for Rome Labs.
As an Air Force family, Mary Jane, George and their two children had the adventure of a lifetime for nearly 30 years, living in many different places throughout the U.S. and the world. They especially cherished their time living in the Philippines and Aviano, Italy.
Upon returning to Rome, Mary Jane took up her mother’s role as family matriarch, hosting large family gatherings at her home on Christmas Eve, as well as other holidays and special events. The Montalbano family, which seems to have a gene for creativity, is known for its musicians, artists, and poets. Mary Jane was no exception – a self-taught master of the culinary arts, she was legendary for her creations, including her famous Italian Christmas cookies. Her Thanksgiving celebrations were nothing short of magical, complete with menus, holiday décor, favors, and multiple courses, including many desserts to choose from. Everyone was welcome in her home and at her table, without exception, without judgment.
Mary Jane practiced random and not-so-random acts of kindness. She had a way of making people feel special, always looking for ways to bring joy into their lives. She delighted in making Halloween costumes for the children of the family, or surprising people with their favorite food when they visited. When she heard of a need in the community, she would fill it. She was an accomplished quilter and crafter who took on many projects for the children of Thea Bowman House, such as making pre-K graduation caps and gowns, naptime sheets, and child-sized COVID masks during the mask shortage. She also made and donated numerous beautiful quilts to those in need. Mary Jane never sought any thanks or recognition; it was just who she was.
Mary Jane always loved animals, taking it upon herself to rescue stray cats in the neighborhood. Thanks to her efforts, numerous cats received veterinary care, including spaying/neutering and vaccinations.
Mary Jane is survived by her loving husband of 60 years, George; son, George (Cindy) Hendrickson III of Westmoreland; brothers, Phillip (Judith) Montalbano of Rome, Nicholas Montalbano of Croghan, and Richard (Julie) Montalbano of Rome; sister-in-law, Louise Montalbano of Rome; her many beloved nieces and nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, and cousins; grand-pups Trapper and P. Haze; her cat Chloe; and outdoor cats Sam, Callie, Eddie, Freddie, and JR. She was predeceased by her daughter, Celeste Wurz; sister Michalena (Milton) Thompson; twin sister Kathleen Montalbano; brother, Anthony Montalbano; sisters-in-law, Laverne Montalbano and Jill Montalbano; grand-nephew, Jamie Redden; niece, Vicki Montalbano; grand-pup Strider; and her cats, Bella and Dilly.
A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, at 11 AM, at the Church of St. John the Baptist, with the Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio as celebrant.
There are no calling hours.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Barry Funeral Home, 807 W. Chestnut Street.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Thea Bowman House or the Humane Society of Rome.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Mary Hendrickson, please visit our Tree Store