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Amy Bateman Hensold

September 12, 1921 ~ May 6, 2022 (age 100)


Amy Bateman Hensold was born on a farm in Mansfield, Illinois in 1921 to Roy and Ruth James Bateman, the second of 8 children. Educated in a one room schoolhouse, she went on to the University of Illinois, where she worked as a nanny to support herself.  She was one of the only women in Accounting at the time.  She earned a BA in 1943 and took a position with Kodak in Rochester, New York.

In June 1944 she married Harold Hensold, a fellow U of I alum and Accounting classmate.  The marriage took place at Fort Bliss, Texas, and the couple later set up housekeeping at his post in Panama.

When the war ended, they returned to Illinois, arriving in Park Forest in 1949, one of the original families of the new community. Amy remembered the early years of Park Forest as “a lot of children playing in mud!" They raised five children, the family moving to Olympia Fields in 1959 when the fifth was born.

In Park Forest, she and Harold became founding members of Faith United Protestant Church, where they were deeply involved throughout their lives. Amy served at times as a Sunday School teacher and superintendent, chair of both the board of directors and the board of elders, archivist, circle member, and textile artist. She inspired many with her quiet strength, practical wisdom, welcoming manner, and faithfulness to the community. She also had a deep commitment to ecumenism and religious tolerance, reflected in her support of the Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministry for many years.

As her kids grew older, she found fresh challenges, working with parent organizations in the schools, exploring embroidery, weaving, art, quilting, backpacking, canoeing, and camping. She did all things thoughtfully and well, whether making beef jerky from scratch or knitting clothes for troll dolls.  She had an intuitive understanding of the lives of small children, and was able to calm even a stranger’s crying baby.

She had a gift for appreciating and encouraging the special qualities of everyone she met.  Her clarity of vision and purpose were matched by a peaceful spirit, curious mind, and listening heart always open to new possibilities and new insights. 

Amy passed away at home on May 6, 2022. She is survived by brother Arthur Bateman; sisters Lella Lancaster, Miriam Wright and Margaret Kemplin; children Sally Hundley, Jack, Ted, Nancy and Dick Hensold; 8 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years and her siblings Irvin Bateman, Stanley Bateman, and Marjorie Graham.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Greater Chicago Broadcast Ministries or South Suburban PADS program.  A Memorial Service has not yet been scheduled

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