Friday, October 27, 2017

In Memoriam: Robert Henderson, 1923-2017

Robert Maurice Henderson passed away in Lenox, Massachusetts, on October 16, 2017, the morning of his 68th wedding anniversary. Wife, Aleva, and son, Jack, were by his side. He was four days shy of his 94th birthday.

Born in Livingston, Montana, October 16, 1923, and raised just over the mountains in Bozeman, Bob was a consummate cowboy. Raising and caring for horses in his early years gave him compassion for animals and a high regard for nature and all its wonders. Bob's father, Maurice's career in public service, ultimately retiring as city manager of Bozeman, MT and Colonel in the Montana National Guard as well as the example of his mother, Grace, a former school teacher and community volunteer, taught Bob the value of hard work and sound ethics. Throughout his life people turned to Bob for good advice and leadership. Bob attended Montana State College (now MSU). He paused his education during WWII for service in the Army Air Corps but returned to MSC to complete his engineering degree and as he would always be first to acknowledge, most fortunate to meet the young nursing student who would become the love of his life, Aleva Benjamin. Aleva ultimately attained a degree in dietetics and Bob in mechanical engineering. They married in Bozeman, MT, October 16, 1949.

Bob started his career at Westinghouse in Portland, OR, where four of his five children were born but moved to Massachusetts to work at Dalton's E.D. Jones Division of Beloit Corporation in large paper machinery sales and engineering. His success in sales could be attributed to his adeptness at listening and his ability to provide and execute solutions for his customers' needs. Their fifth child was born in Pittsfield.

Bob stayed in paper machinery sales and engineering with ED Jones/Beloit Corporation then went to Bielomatic, a German enterprise and finally, Clark Aiken, Lee, MA, where he bought the business which he eventually sold to a German concern. Bob never really retired, always dabbling in some project or another. He and Aleva lived on Main Street, Stockbridge and were active in the community for over 40 years.

He thoroughly enjoyed his compatriots in the Monday Night Club, The Lenox Club, Monday Lunch Bunch, the Sweater Club and the Stockbridge Golf Club. He sang in the choir at his beloved First Congregational Church of Stockbridge for many years serving as Moderator and supported its varied causes.

He was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Jean Brickley, of Coronado, California.

Bob leaves behind a large, loving family; Wife Aleva, Children: Shelly (Ray); Lexington, MA; Jack, Stockbridge, MA; Chuck (Barb), Ithaca, NY; Sheryl (Bob), La Jolla, CA; Rob (Ali), West Linn, OR, 11 Grandchildren: Sarabeth, San Diego, CA; Kane, West Linn, OR; JB, Boston, MA; Shannon, Denver, CO; Annie, San Francisco, CA; Jessica, West Linn, OR; Eva, San Francisco, CA; Graeme, San Diego, CA; James, Los Angeles, CA; Rori, Ithaca, NY; Matthew Gabler, San Francisco, CA; Nephew, James Robert Brickley, Dana Point, CA; Niece, Joanne Brickley Conroy (James), Stockbridge, MA.

SERVICES: Celebration of Life to be held Friday, November 24th, 4 P.M., First Congregational Church of Stockbridge, 4 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA. Reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice.

In life, Bob most loved his family, animals, the great outdoors, music and ice cream but nothing will compare to the love he had for Aleva.

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