They’re burying Josephine Hendrix today, and the world is a poorer place following her death this week, at the age of 79. Known to her many students as “Dr. Jo” and to her friends simply as “Jo,” she could as well have been called “Dynamo” for all the energy she put into so many projects in and around her home in Hays, N.C.
I came to know Jo when she served a second term on the board of directors for the Biblical Recorder in the days when I was editor. She also served terms on the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina general board and its executive committee. Closer to home, at Maple Grove Baptist Church, she led the Woman’s Missionary Union, taught Sunday School, and served as WMU director for the Stone Mountain Association.
Jo was the kind of Baptist who makes the church go round — singing in the choir, teaching Vacation Bible School, assisting with mission trips, willing to do what needs to be done. But Jo didn’t leave her faith at church: she was a prime example of someone who takes the love of Christ into the broader world.
She taught high school for a while, and in 1965 was a founding faculty member of Wilkes Community College, where she taught math and physical sciences until her retirement in 1991. Her awards, accolades, and activities in the world of education could fill two paragraphs. But, despite her many professional accomplishments, some of those who remember Jo most dearly will be the hungry and hurting folk served by the Byrd Ridge Crisis Center, Wilkes Regional Medical Center, and the Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, all of which benefited from her faithful volunteer efforts.
I’m so grateful for people like Jo Hendrix, people who see beyond themselves and give so much energy and effort to making their corner of the world a better place. Jo is one example of many people who are like that, and I’m grateful for every one of them — and hopeful that many will not only rise up and call her blessed, but follow her example.