Elaine ‘Bing’ Hendrickson, age 96, of Woodville, Wisconsin passed away peacefully on Friday, October 23, 2020 at Park View Home, Woodville.
A private family service will be held. The service will be live streamed on Zion Lutheran Church Facebook page on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 starting at 11 a.m.
Burial will be in Lone Pine Cemetery, Woodville. Cards in memory of Bing may be sent to Keehr Funeral Home, PO Box 426, Spring Valley, 54767, and will be forwarded to the family.
Bing was born September 11, 1924 to Robert and Lydia (Johnson) Bengtson in Cady Township of St. Croix Co. Wi. She was baptized and confirmed at Wilson Lutheran Church and later became a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Woodville. She attended Summit Elementary School in Wilson and Woodville High School in Woodville.
Bing’s dad had a farm and a country store on Hwy 128 in Wilson called Bengtson’s Summit Store where gas and groceries were sold. She grew up with a strong family work ethic which served her well throughout her life.
Bing married Lester “Pete” Peterson in 1941. To this union was born three children; Judy, Bobby and Darryl. Bing and Lester built a restaurant on Main street in Woodville, known then as Pete’s Café. Lester was killed in a car accident in 1951 leaving Bing with three small children and a restaurant to run, which then became Bing’s Café. In 1953, Bing remarried to Robert Hendrickson. They had one child, Kathy. The couple divorced in 1957.
Bing’s cafe was always a very popular place for the locals to gather for home cooking and fresh baked pies and doughnuts. For a time, there was a lunch wagon they pulled to auctions in the area. In the 40’s, people coming from nearby dance halls would stand in line to get a stool at the café for a late night meal. When I-94 was being built, the café opened at 4:00 AM so she and her staff could serve breakfast and prepare about 50 dinner pails and thermoses for the road crew. The workmen returned to the café for supper which was served until 11:00 PM. Weekday mornings had men shaking an exuberant game of dice to see who had to pay for coffee. Every Saturday afternoon, a group of ladies known as the Coffee Train came in for pie and coffee. There were business meetings and Bible Study groups. School kids met up with their parents after school and sporting events. When the noon whistle blew in Woodville, the café would fill up with hungry people. Bing would often put an extra potato on the plate of a hard working person with big appetite.
Bing employed many people at the café throughout the years, from high school kids’ first jobs to terrific cooks and bakers who were somebody’s mom or grandmother stirring up some homemade goodness with a handful of this and a pinch of that. There was an article written in the St. Paul Pioneer Press about Bing and the wonderful food served at Bing’s Café. And she served a lot of food to a lot of people over the years! She had many friends and acquaintances near and far.
Bing loved people, and animals – many a stray animal was given a good meal at the café back door! She loved feeding the birds and doing jigsaw puzzles. She loved her vacations at the lake with family and friends where she enjoyed boating and card games. She even water skied! She delighted in sitting by the lake at sunrise with her morning coffee, to watch the waves lap on the shore and relax. Most important to her was family. She had a close relationship with her brother and sister which has carried on down through the generations. In retirement, Grandma Bing loved spoiling the grandchildren! Their first stop was to the library where they would borrow stacks of books that she’d read to them over and over. The next stop was to the grocery store to let the grandkids select cereal and snacks – items that they’d only get at Grandma’s. Bing loved Woodville and Woodville loved her in return.
Bing was preceded in death by her husband Lester Peterson, son Bobby “Ole” Peterson, brother Lester Bengtson and his wife Evelyn, sister Delores and her husband Sherman Russett. She is survived by daughters Judy (Keith) Albrightson, Kathy (Rick) Thorson, and son Darryl (Cathy) Peterson, 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
It is not what the family preferred, but a private service is being held because of the Covid crisis in Wisconsin. We would have very much enjoyed visiting with each of you at the funeral to share your memories of Bing. We encourage you to post your memories on Keehr Funeral Home's webpage.
We give our sincere, heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Parkview for their care of Bing in her last years.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elaine 'Bing' Hendrickson, please visit our floral store.