Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick died late Wednesday night at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside after suffering a heart attack Tuesday morning. He was 64.
"He was the longest running official in Lynbrook, 25 years," Deputy Mayor Alan Beach told the Herald in a text message early Thursday morning. "[He was] very dedicated to our village. I will miss his friendship, his wit and his knowledge of our village."
Village officials sent out a statement Thursday, announcing Hendrick's death and lauding everything he did for Lynbrook.
"Bill has devoted most of his adult life [to] serving the Village of Lynbrook," the statement read. "Despite his failing health over the past few years, he has been a fighter for the residents of Lynbrook. Serving 19 years as a trustee and the last six years as mayor, he’s been known as a maverick and spoke up in defense for what was right. ... Our deepest most heartfelt condolences go out to his sons, Bill and John, and his grandchildren that were his shining stars."
In the release, Beach said it "was a pleasure to serve with him, and an honor to provide for the continuity of village business."
"If Bill was here, he would say thank you for all your support over these last 25 years," Beach added.
Hendrick was rushed to the hospital on Tuesday after suffering a heart attack at the Atria Tanglewood, on Ocean Avenue. He was there attending a meeting of the Lynbrook Chamber of Commerce's board of directors.
Chamber President Carol Burak said Tuesday that Hendrick excused himself from the meeting at around 9:22 a.m. to get to court, where he worked as an attorney for the Town of Hempstead. She added that he appeared fine during the meeting.
"Maybe five minutes later, we all dispersed,” Burak said, “and I was told, ‘We have to redirect you out a different way, because there’s been an emergency in the lobby.’”
Beach confirmed Tuesday that Hendrick had a medical issue, and other witnesses confirmed it was a heart attack. He collapsed in the lobby of the Atria and was rushed to South Nassau, where he was moved to the critical care unit and was listed in stable but critical condition.
Hendrick had been the mayor of Lynbrook since he was appointed by Brian Curran in January 2011 when Curran left the position to become a state assemblyman. He was officially elected to the seat that March. He served as a trustee in the village from 1989-1993 and again from 1995-2010.
Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy offered his condolences to Hendrick's family. "Mayor Hendrick served the Village of Lynbrook well and was a dedicated public servant who cared deeply about his community and its people," Kennedy said in a release. "Mayor Hendrick will long be remembered by the people of Lynbrook and Nassau County. He had given his time and efforts unselfishly. He was a great example of what a village mayor should be."
Hendrick graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in political science, St. John's University with a degree in marketing and management and Brooklyn Law School with a juris doctorate.
He was a founding member and chairman of the Lynbrook Expo Committee, an associate member of Lynbrook Engine Co. No. 1 for 19 years and an honorary member of Lynbrook Emergency Medical Co. No. 1. In addition, Hendrick was a former Cub Master of Pack 84, former Assistant Scout Master for Troop 332 of the Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the Lynbrook Elks Club, the Knights of Columbus, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the past president of the Lynbrook Republican Club.
Hendrick is survived by two sons, Billy (Anna) and Johnny, and his grandchildren.