December 29, 1939 — April 9, 2022
George B. Henderson, age 82, of Wildwood, Missouri passed away on Saturday, April 9, 2022, peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
Formerly of New Athens, Ohio, George was born on Dec. 29, 1939 to Thomas Blake and Mary Alice Henderson. Beloved by many, George was unfailingly kind and was a gentle presence to all who knew him. He always led with love and respect, qualities that can be undoubtedly attributed to his loving and kindhearted parents.
George and his soulmate Lois married on Aug. 20, 1960 in Cadiz, Ohio. Lois is the daughter of the late Emerson and Sylvia Giffin Mizer, owners of the former Hillcrest Dairy in Cadiz. Now 61 years later, their unwavering commitment to each other was something many only dream about. We hope for love in everyone’s life as true, deep, and inspiring as theirs.
George attended Ohio University and graduated from Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1961. In his early years in the funeral business, he was a part-owner of a funeral home in St. Clairsville, where George and Lois welcomed George Bradley in October 1961 and Sarah Lynn in June 1964. George Henderson operated with a wholesome heart and thoughtfully cared for loved ones, both deceased and bereaved.
In 1977, he was offered an opportunity in St. Louis, Missouri and felt called to move his family from Columbus, Ohio. Ultimately, the Hendersons thrived in St. Louis and became part of the incredible local community, including with those at Bonhomme Presbyterian Church. This experience led to George being a persistent advocate for seizing opportunities that might come your way.
George worked as the general manager for Adam Wholesalers, distributing Andersen and Masonite products for many years out of St. Louis. He carried his teams with respect and endless quality. Another change came about in 1998 when he was offered an opportunity in Vandalia, Ohio, where George and Lois lived until 2008.
In addition to his work, George served six years in the United States Army Reserves; he was also a 50+ year member of the National Funeral Directors Association; a 50+ year member of Belmont Lodge; and a member of First Presbyterian Church in St. Clairsville, Ohio, St. Andrew in Columbus, Bonhomme Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio.
After retiring in 2005, George and Lois moved back to the St. Louis area to be near their family but frequented their hometowns in Ohio. In 2012, they purchased a lake house in Cuba, Missouri, a lifelong dream realized.
Being near the water can be a source of peace and joy for many; the water seemed to empower George. Ocean and lake viewing alike were sources of great happiness. Lake life for George and Lois could not be topped. Their family, almost all residing in the St. Louis area, would join them on summer weekends at the lake for boat rides/Bailey’s Cruise, waterskiing, dock talks, and delightful togetherness.
George had a unique ability to exercise patience in trying circumstances. One instance in particular, while at the helm of his boat, he would encourage people to waterski and persevere no matter how many times they’d fall. At 82, George captained his Bayliner as his (also 82-year-old) wife Lois and her tandem partner, children Brad or Sarah, waterskied in the summer of 2021. It was always said George and Lois were an incomparable couple; speedboats and waterskiing at 82 were no exception.
You might say a diamond was George’s best friend — a baseball diamond, that is. The Hendersons had many unique opportunities with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates as their son, Brad, was a part of both organizations. George and Lois spent a lot of time in the stands, cheering on their favorite teams. Be it professional athletes or his grandchildren, George loved to take in a game.
One could often find George and Lois chatting around their kitchen table. They would spend hours in their sacred space drinking coffee and sharing with each other. An invitation to their table was always open, and we are now left longing to have one more chat with our favorite beacon of wisdom.
Countless times George found himself in the middle of a joke and laughing too hard to finish it. His eyes would squint, his smile would beam, and he would laugh uncontrollably. It was absolute, pure elation. Don’t worry; we’d eventually hear the end of the joke, but our delight came from George’s exceptional delivery.
Always “the true gentleman,” George was always coiffed, shaved (and thank goodness, a mustache trial in 2014 was hilariously, yet also poorly, received by the grandchildren), and looking sharp. Often alternating between pastels and plaid, he always presented himself with a true air of distinction and esteem.
George was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Blake and Mary Alice Henderson.
George is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lois Henderson; sister Sally Johnson; children, Brad (Julie) Henderson and Sarah Lynn Mandziara; grandchildren: Blake (Megan), Andrew (Megan), Brooke, David, and Scott (Taylor); and great-grandchildren, Brooks and Lindsay. In the wake of our grief, we can take comfort knowing George, our beloved brother, husband, father, pops, and papa is at home with our Lord and Savior.
Celebration of life services will be held on May 14, 2022 at the Presbyterian Church of Cadiz. Visitation is at 10 a.m., with the service following at 11, before burial in New Athens, Ohio. Local arrangements are being made by Clark-Kirkland-Barr Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to the Indian Hills Lake Restoration Committee (PO Box 800 Cuba, MO 65453) or the music program at Sound Investment Fund/Bonhomme Presbyterian Church (14820 Conway Road, Chesterfield, MO 63017).