Wayne LaVerle Henderson, of Holmen, Wis., died peacefully at home on August 22, 2013, surrounded by family.
Wayne was born December 19, 1924, in DeKalb, Illinois, to Lester James Henderson and Mabel Irene (Tucker) Henderson. He was baptized April 4, 1937, at the Pierce Evangelical United Brethren Church in rural Maple Park, Ill., and confirmed May 28, 1939, at Trinity Lutheran Church in DeKalb, Ill. In that community of faith, he also found his life companion, marrying Ruth Ione Thuestad on June 9, 1946.
Following military service in World War II, Wayne began to discern a call to pastoral ministry. Ordained in 1954, Wayne served the Trinity and Five Points Lutheran congregations of Boscobel and rural Boaz, Wis., (1954-1959), the St. Paul Lutheran congregation of Villa Park, Ill., (1959-1975), and the Blanchardville and York Memorial congregations of Blanchardville, Wis., (1975-1995). He served in a number of leadership positions, in both church and community, and was privileged to mentor twelve student pastors through their year of internship.
Even at his busiest, aided by Ruth’s support in his ministry and at home, Wayne made time for family. As their children grew and married, Wayne and Ruth prioritized time to keep the family connected, once traveling as far as Africa to visit grandkids. In retirement, Wayne enjoyed woodworking, gardening, family history and volunteer service as long as his health allowed.
Wayne will be remembered with thanks as a caring pastor and able leader, and dearly missed as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. The memories of his life and love remain as a witness to God’s grace at work in all circumstances.
Wayne is survived by his devoted wife, Ruth, by three sons, DANIEL HENDERSON ’73, (& Lynn (Sederstrom) Henderson ’73) of Holmen, DAVID HENDERSON ’76, (& Sue) of Kalona, Iowa, DAYTON HENDERSON ’79, (& Amy) of Kimberly, Wis., a daughter, Heide (& Fred) Potter of Osceola, Iowa; by grandchildren Chris (& Mandi) Henderson, Bruce (& Susan) Henderson, Nils (& Jessi) Henderson, Laura (& Greg) Meronk, Kate (& Sam) O’Connor, Kjetil Henderson (& fiancée Megan Buhrandt), CASEY HENDERSON ’07, (& Amy (Engelbrekt) Henderson ‘07); by seven great grandchildren, along with a number of nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and a number of other in-laws and cousins.
A visitation was held at Holmen Lutheran Church on Sunday, August 25, 2013, and a service of thanksgiving and celebration was held on Monday, August 26, 2013. Burial took place on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, at the Woodlawn Cemetery, Creston, Ill. Memorials may be given to: Holmen Lutheran Church or any of the congregations Wayne served; or, the Wayne and Ruth Henderson Scholarship fund established in their honor for students at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Information and on-line condolences may be given to the family at www.dickinsonfuneralhomes.com. The Dickinson Family Funeral Homes assisted the family with arrangements.