|Birth: ||Apr. 13, 1990|
El Paso County
|Death: ||Mar. 17, 2009|
El Paso County
Whitney deMoraes Hendrickson, beloved daughter of David C. Hendrickson and Clelia Deane deMoraes, died tragically on March 17, 2009. Whitney was born, with her twin brother Wesley, on April 13, 1990, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She attended St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School, North Middle School, and Palmer High School, graduating from the latter's International Baccalaureate program in the spring of 2008. She was in her freshman year at Grinnell College in Iowa. Whitney was a special person in so many ways. She loved life and approached it with gusto. Without a streak of meanness in her character, and with abundant compassion, she gladdened the hearts of all who knew her. Slight in frame, weighing in at 112 pounds, she was bountiful in personality and laughter. She was a snowboarder and played lacrosse. Gifted with an artistic sensibility, she developed interests in photography and drawing, and was leaning toward an Art History major at the time of her death. Whitney is survived by her parents, her brother Wesley, and her sister Marina, of Colorado Springs; and by her grandparents Carlos and Elizabeth deMoraes of Littleton, Colorado, and Frances Hendrickson and G.D. Spradlin, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She was very close to, and much beloved by, her aunts, uncles, and cousins: Chuck and Kady Haisley and their children Lauren and Quinn, of Boulder, Colorado; Lisa deMoraes and Jeff Copeland, of Washington, D.C.; Carrie deMoraes, of Colorado Springs; Christy Hendrickson and her children Richard and Russell Houghten, of San Diego, California; and Rusty and Kathy Hendrickson and their children Jeffrey, Will, and Gregory, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Friends gathered this evening at the home of the 18-year-old woman who died hours earlier in a freak fiery crash at a gas pump at a west side 7-Eleven, mourning the 2008 Palmer High School graduate who strove to get the most out of life.
"She was just a very loving, happy person who loved life and lived it to the fullest," said Clelia DeMoraes, Whitney Hendrickson's mother.
She is also survived by her father David Hendrickson, a political science professor at Colorado College, a twin brother named Wesley, who is in his freshman year at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., and younger sister 16-year-old Marina, a junior at Palmer.
Hendrickson was on spring break from Grinnell College in Iowa and had just traveled to Colorado Springs with a college friend from Appleton, Wis., DeMoraes said.
"She was going to show her Colorado," she said.
The pair had planned to spend the day at Mount Princeton Hot Springs, one of Hendrickson's favorite spots. The crash happened after they arrived at the 7-Eleven to fuel up Hendrickson's parents' Honda minivan in preparation for a trip, as Whitney Hendrickson stood outside and put gas in the van. In a horrific chain-reaction crash, a pickup was pushed into gas pump, which was in turn forced into Hendrickson, pinning her against the minivan. She was unable to escape as flames engulfed the vehicle, even as several witnesses approached and tried in vain to help.
The passenger, 19-year-old Julie Podair, was uninjured.
Hours after the tragedy, Hendrickson's parents gathered with fellow mourners in their home on West Pikes Peak Avenue, including Hendrickson's friends.
They remembered Hendrickson as a funny and outgoing woman who had an easy time making friends. She was an honors student in Palmer's International Baccalaureate program and played on the school's lacrosse team. She enjoyed drawing, photography and art history and "blossomed" at college, her parents said.
David Hendrickson called his daughter a "very special" person and laughed when he recalled his daughter's Christmas gift to him last December - a humorous scrap book linking him to embarrassing scandals from 2008. The gift was typical of her wit and imagination, he said.
"She just had this way about her that was divine," he said. "I always thought she had a wonderful future ahead of her."
Friends called her rarely angry or sad. She was selfless and always game for adventure, they said.
Created by: Shawn Arthur Wells
Record added: Mar 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 34935113