FLINT, MI — Bettye Hendricks was the cheerleader of her daughter’s life.
She was a friend, support and positive voice for Nikki Rochelle Dorsey, Hendricks’ daughter, and is how she will be remembered.
Hendricks, who hosted the African American Inspiration radio show on WFLT-AM 1420 for 16 years on Saturday mornings in Flint, died peacefully at her home on April 19.
She was 74 years old.
A full funeral service, visitation and family hour was held April 22-23 at the New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church.
Hendricks’ impact on the Flint community is hard to describe because it was shown in so many different ways.
His radio show spoke to young and old about the positive things happening in and around the Flint community.
“There’s usually a lot of negativity when people talk about Flint. Even living in Texas, people say, “Oh my God, you’re from Flint,” Dorsey said. “But what my mum was able to do was take that negativity and turn it around. She shared what’s going on in the community and got people more involved.
Dorsey recalled a specific segment from her mother’s show called “Young & Gifted,” which featured young people doing interesting things in the community.
“She was very successful because she was able to reach different audiences,” Dorsey said. “…She was able to touch different colors, different races and different genders within the community.”
A “community mom,” as her daughter described her, Hendricks volunteered with the Ruth Mott Foundation for much of her life after retiring from General Motors.
She used her own money to become the founder of the show African American Inspiration.
Hendricks graduated from Flint Central High School in the class of 1964. She was born in Louisiana and moved to Flint as a child, then attended Michigan State University and the University of Michigan-Flint.
She received the Courageous Student Award in 2011, Phi Delta Kappa “Hall of Living Legends” in 2012, Quintin L. Marshall Sr. Lifetime Legacy Award in 2021 and was a board member of Women in Education Foundation for Mott Community College, according to his obituary, which noted Hendricks’ motto, “To whom much is given, much is required.”
Bettye Jean Hendricks is survived by her daughter, Nikki Rochelle Dorsey; son, Gilbert Earl Dorsey II; granddaughter, Briella Eliza Rose Robinson; sisters, Donna Hendricks and Debra Hendricks; brothers, Alvin Hendricks and Cornell Hendricks; and several other family members and friends.
Cards and condolences for Hendricks can be sent to [email protected]
Read more on The Flint Journal:
“The world thinks the water crisis is over. It’s not’: Flint recalls 8 years since crisis began
Funding secured to remove dangerous Hamilton Dam on the Flint River
The strategic plan for Flint schools will be revisited with several changes
Mott Community College receives largest grant ever – $12.5 million – to renovate campus center