My relationship with Ken Hendricks would probably have been best described as “business casual.” It consisted mainly of a series of chance or planned meetings ranging from a wave across a crowded room to a handshake to a few one-on-one discussions that occurred over the course of a decade or two. Why, then, on hearing of Ken’s passing, did I feel as if I had lost a close personal friend? Why does my heart continue to ache for his wife, Diane, and his children and those who were truly close to him as associates and friends? I believe the answer lies not within me, but in the remarkable gift Ken had of touching and relating to people - especially people who work in the roofing industry. He always made me feel like a valued associate.
I believe that we all have our own special gifts. Gifts, according to the Apostle Paul, are bestowed on each of us by the Creator. In a letter to his followers, Paul cited a wide variety of gifts, such as the gifts of service, and wisdom, and knowledge, to name a few. What set Ken’s life apart from most of ours was not the gifts the Creator bestowed on him, but rather the incredible way in which he used them.
Ken Hendricks, perhaps more than any of the upper-echelon leaders in the roofing industry, really knew, respected and understood the roofing contractor. He was one. He never forgot where he came from and never veered from his vision to do the very best he could for the people in the industry that he grew up in and loved. His perspective was at once crystal clear and unique - truly one of a kind.
Ken made an extraordinary life for himself, his family, and his associates. While his professional, civic, and other life accomplishments were all amazing, I believe the gift he had of touching people’s lives will be the defining hallmark of his legacy. At least it will be for me. And nearly everyone in the roofing industry will remember Ken in their own way because of the way he touched us all. He was a gifted visionary and leader, but I want to remember him simply as a good husband, a loved and respected father and grandfather, and as a good guy whom I was lucky to have known.