Houston-area truck driver Edison ‘Tater’ Hendrix Jr. remembered for humor, compassion

This article is part of Our Remembering Lives Lost project to honor victims in the Houston region whose families have chosen to publicly disclose their cause of death as COVID-19. Edison Hendrix Jr. knew how to make people laugh, even if that meant breaking into song and dance, as if he were on stage with a Motown group. "He always (imitated) the Temptations," said his sister, Tiffany Atkinson. "He would just do whatever it took for a laugh and he was not shy at all."

Family members remembered Hendrix, 33, of Humble, who died April 17 after being diagnosed with COVID-19, as an upbeat person who liked to lighten the mood. "I'm sad he's gone but I want to remember him by the good times we had," said his mother, Shelia Hendrix, 55, who survived her own bout with the new coronavirus. "And by his sense of humor." In addition to his mother and sister, Edison Hendrix is survived by his fiancee, brother and several nephews and aunts.

He recently had been living with his mother to save up for his wedding, planned for next year. Family members described Hendrix, also known as "Tater," as a big-hearted truck driver who earlier in life encouraged friends to join the trucking industry, in an effort to keep them off the street. He helped inspire people to turn their (lives) around, Atkinson said.

"Everybody wasn't dealt a decent hand like my brother," Atkinson said. "They did different things in the streets to survive, and my brother was like, 'You can still get money and do it the legal way.'" Hendrix grew up in the Houston area. He worked hard from the moment he could get a job, Atkinson said.

When he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and become a truck driver, he transported goods across the region. More recently, as a driver for Because of Christ Trucking, he remained closer to home. He also was part of a car club.

He loved to race his 2011 Chevy Camaro at a local track in his spare time, family members said. Atkinson believes she caught the virus around the same time as her brother and mother, but she was never tested. She said they developed symptoms in late March after visiting a laundromat and a Livingston casino.

Edison Hendrix was hospitalized for several days in the Humble area after receiving the diagnosis. His illness was difficult for members of the close-knit family because they couldn't all be together as his condition worsened. Atkinson said she spoke to Hendrix on the phone about two hours before he died.

She told him she loved him, and that she would call the next day.

"All my friends have lost someone they love," Atkinson said. "I never thought in a million years that it would have been my brother."

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