Joseph Nelson Henderson: Aug. 10, 1935 – Jan. 11, 2017


Joseph Nelson Henderson

Joseph Nelson Henderson died at the age 81 on Jan. 11, living on his beloved Whidbey Island, in the state of Washington. Joe was born to Lowell and Loe (Giles) Henderson on Aug. 10, 1935, in Carroll County. He spent the majority of his life in the West Lafayette, Wabash Twp. area.

He exhibited patriotic support and courage as a Skywatch Volunteer in 1952 by alternating shifts to maintain 24-hour watch for enemy planes because there was no national radar system at that time. He graduated from Klondike High School in 1953, where he was a star basketball player and baseball player.

After school, he became engaged in farming and raising his three children: Kevin of Orlando, Fla., Kelli of Boston, Mass., and Kerry who is deceased. Surviving is the children’s mother, Janet Sterner Ainsworth.

Joe founded Henderson Construction and poured thousands of concrete foundations and walls — both residential and commercial — across central Indiana. Alongside his loving wife, Linda Coates Henderson of 32 years, they were very involved in the construction industry both as successful company owners and leaders in the Homebuilder’s Association.

His pastime joys were gardening, mushroom hunting, fishing, making candy, playing bridge and euchre and sharing the bounty of his luxurious gardens with family and friends. Joe and Linda belonged to a Gourmet Dinner Club, and the two relished preparing exotic food for their friends in the club.

They traveled to all 50 states and many other countries. Renting an RV and driving for weeks in Australia and New Zealand was a lifetime thrill.

Joe and Linda retired to Whidbey Island in 2004, where they enjoyed the cooler weather and less bugs, learning to garden in the shorter-day climate. After 12 years he mastered the art of raising ripe tomatoes and sweet corn in the Puget Sound area. Linda was always right beside him preparing everything he carried in from the garden and fruit trees and taking care of his needs during his later years.

Joe is survived by his wife Linda; two children, Kevin and Kelli; four stepsons, Richard, Timothy, Matthew and Bryan Kiep; thirteen grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his sister Elizabeth King and brother Ivan (wife Patricia) Henderson. His extended family will miss his great family heritage stories and willingness to offer wise counsel on many projects.

Preceding him in death with his parents was his son Kerry and grandson Bruce Henderson.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider donating to the National Cancer Foundation in memory of Joseph Henderson. A memorial service will be held on Whidbey Island at a later date.

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