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Deer Park massage therapist with ‘heart of gold’ dies at 39

Nicole Elizabeth Hendrickson died after a long illness

Nicole Elizabeth Hendrickson died after a long illness on Wednesday at the Deer Park home where she grew up. Credit: LaSpina family

Kindness for all, generosity and a welcoming spirit, all set off by her characteristic “sparkle,” helped define the life of Nicole Elizabeth Hendrickson, her sister said.

“She was just such a loving soul,” said Lyndsay LaSpina, 32, of Deer Park.

Hendrickson, a mother of three who was just 39, “loved sparkle and glitter, and inside she was just filled with sparkle and glitter — and was just very compassionate,” LaSpina said.

“She definitely cared about people; she had a heart of gold,” she added.

Those qualities helped Hendrickson become a sought-after massage therapist after graduating from Deer Park High School.

After a lengthy illness, Hendrickson died Wednesday at the Deer Park home where she grew up. After marrying, she and her husband, Jody, bought the house from her parents.

Hendrickson’s kindness, warmth and charity won her many friends. “She had such a good circle of friends around her,” her sister said.

Her outgoing, fun-loving spirit meant that “any party she was at, she was the life of the party,” LaSpina said.

Hendrickson’s kindness spilled over to animals that needed homes.

“At one point, she had so many animals at her house; she just couldn’t say ‘no’ to animals,” LaSpina recalled. Those she welcomed included dogs, rabbits — even a chinchilla.

Hendrickson’s service to the community included helping, along with her husband, with a number of her children’s school activities, LaSpina said.

“She was very popular in the town. Everyone knew the Hendricksons because they were just so involved in the schools and sports,” the sister said.

Hendrickson also is survived by her sons Mikey and Niko, and daughter Sophia; and her parents Diane and Michael LaSpina of Deer Park. Michael LaSpina works in Newsday’s printing department and leads the newspaper’s union as president of Local 406 of the Graphic Communications Conference/International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Mangano Funeral Home in Deer Park will hold a wake on Sunday afternoon and evening.

The funeral will be held Monday at 10:15 a.m. at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Church in Deer Park, followed by burial at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Pinelawn.

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