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Etta Merle Sullivan Hendry was born in Umatilla, FL September 20, 1930. She was raised in White City, FL where she was a civilian Aircraft Observer for the U.S. Army Air Force in WWII. She graduat-ed from Okeechobee High School in 1948 and her ﬁ rst job was a soda fountain clerk in the drug store on South Park Street, where she made the best ice cream sun-dae for a young man named William L.
“Bill” Hendry. Etta Merle and Bill were married at the First United Methodist Church of Okeechobee in 1951, and immedi-ately moved to Og-den Air Force Base in Utah. After Bill was discharged, they moved to Gaines-ville, FL while Bill attended Law School and they eventually found their way back to Okeechobee. Etta Merle served as a Girl Scout leader and was a member of the Fine Arts Club of Okeechobee. She loved traveling, cooking, stained glass art, photogra-phy, cross-stitching, collecting angels, and cheering for her be-loved Florida Gators.
Mrs. Hendry was blessed to have traveled to over 52 countries and 49 states in her lifetime. She had an infectious sense of humor and loved gathering togeth-
er with family and friends. She enjoyed the sunsets at Sanibel Island and chasing the fall leaves in the Smoky Mountains, but her favorite place was at her home overlook-ing the cattle pasture and Taylor Creek. She loved watching the birds from her back porch and cherished spending time with her little sister, Carol Ann. She was the unsung hero of the Hendry family. Her spirit went to be with the Lord on Septem-ber 2, 2023.
Mrs. Hendry was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Gladys Sullivan; sisters, Betty Hanson and Shirley Smith; and great grandchildren, Waylon Robert Butler, Matilda Grace Roberts, and John Kyle Ellis.
She leaves to cherish her memory her husband of 72 years, William L. “Bill” Hendry; son, William J. “Chip” Hendry (Marilyn); daughters, Pamela H. Butler
(Bob), and Dion H. Raulerson (Tommy); six grandchildren, Brandy Ellis (John), Ben Butler (April), Katie Butler, Jennifer Gagliano (Dan), Will Butler (Lauren), and Andy Hendry; nine great grandchildren, Macin Raulerson, Brynlee Roberts, Madison Ellis, Hannah Butler, Claire Butler, J.T. Gagliano, Zoey Roberts, J.W. Roberts, and Loretta Butler; and sister, Carol Ann Daughtrey.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to “Merle’s Girls,” Melissa, Kimberly, and Gracie.
Funeral service will be 10:00 a.m. Thurs-day, September 7, 2023 at First United Methodist Church. In-terment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.
In lieu of ﬂ owers, memorials may be made to Dunklin Me-morial Camp or the Real Life Children’s Ranch in Okeechobee.
Those wishing to leave a message of condolence may sign the register book at www.Okeechobee-FuneralHome.com
All arrangements are entrusted to the direction and care of the Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home, 400 North Par-rott Ave., Okeechobee, FL, 34972.