Gerald 'Jerry' Henderson
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CANTON -- Gerald T. "Jerry" Henderson,
77, died Friday, May 20, 2011, at 2:25 p.m. at Graham Hospital in
Canton.Visitation will be 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 27, at
Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton.
will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 28, at Wesley
United Methodist Church Worship Center in Canton,
with the Rev. Roger Russell officiating.
Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Canton.
Mr. Henderson worked at Keystone Steel & Wire in
Bartonville from 1952 to 1982, rising from a helper
in the steel mill to a position of open hearth
foreman. His work ethic continued as he worked at
MidAmerica Bank of Canton, the Parlin-Ingersoll
Library and for numerous individuals as a private
businessman doing landscaping.
He was born in Canton on Nov. 13, 1933, the
fourth of six children of Virgil and Edith
Henderson. He met his soul mate, Ann Marie Spencer,
and they were united in marriage on Jan. 1, 1953.
He is survived by his wife; five sons, G. Lon
(and Nancy) of Danville, Steven of West Peoria, John
(and Jodi) of Matherville, Robert (and Melissa) of
Lincoln and Jeff (and Julie) of Elgin; 10
grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and three
brothers, Clifford (and Iris) of Edmond, Okla.,
Carole (and Anna) of Canton and Tyrone (and Kathy)
of Burlington, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Marcella
Jerry loved his children and understood the need
for them to have additional opportunities. He worked
hard and was proud of his work, which provided for
his family. He believed it was important to provide
an honest day of work for the individuals he served,
and his work ethic was demonstrated to his
He was always proud of his garden and tended to
it daily, providing produce to many residents next
He also knew that his family needed time with
him. Family vacations were a priority, and there
were yearly trout fishing trips to Branson, Mo., and
other locations in order to pass on his love of the
United States to his sons. He taught his children
not only how to fish, hunt and enjoy the outdoors,
but also how to respect and love others.
Jerry’s love for his family was only surpassed by
his love for Christ.
He understood the importance of serving others
and this was demonstrated in his ministry. He was an
active worshipper at Wesley United Methodist Church
in Canton and a member of the First Baptist Church
of Lincoln. He participated in the Fulton County
Habitat for Humanity as his own humble beginnings
translated to helping provide homes for those in
need. On a national level he participated in trips
around the country, as far away as Texas, Kentucky
and Alaska, as part of his church’s mission work.
Internationally, he was able to work with churches
in Costa Rica on 11 different work trips. He passed
along the idea of Christian service and the
importance of serving others to his children.
As his children grew and married, Jerry became
involved in his grandchildren and thoroughly enjoyed
attending their varied activities. He was proud of
their accomplishments and was always willing to
provide his advice to them. He leaves them a legacy
of love. He was always looking for ways to support
them and encourage them to have opportunities that
he was unable to have as a child. This included
encouraging them to continue their education, to be
involved in serving others and to remember that the
family is very important.
Jerry was always honest regarding his beliefs and
was willing to stand by his principles, no matter
what. He also was able to say he was sorry and show
his sons that it was all right to show their
emotions. His unwavering commitment to his values of
hard work, honesty and integrity were exhibited each
day, and he passed these along to his family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to
Fulton County Habitat for Humanity, First Baptist
Church of Lincoln or Wesley United Methodist Church
To leave online condolences or to view his
memorial tribute video, visit