Gary Ray Henderson was born December 19, 1934 in the farmhouse south of Anthony, Kansas to Raymond Sharp Henderson and Edna Bell (Naff) Henderson. Gary married Joan Darlene Davis on December 18, 1960 at the Burchfiel Methodist Church. Gary and Joan had two children, Donald Sharp Henderson and Diane Kay (Henderson) Bacon.
Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Edna and Raymond; his step-mother, Elma (Patterson) Dodds Henderson; brother in law, Marsh Doctor; wife Joan Henderson; and son Donald (Donnie) Henderson. Gary’s siblings are Sherry Kay Doctor of Wellington, Kansas and Richard Jay Henderson of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Gary attended Gietgey Country School grades 1-8 and graduated from Anthony High School in May 1952.
Gary grew up farming as a young boy and after graduating he worked at Boeing for a short time, while continuing to farm. He also worked for Independence Exploration, a seismograph company, and lived his early adult years in Arkansas City, KS while coming back for harvest during the summers and helping out when needed on the farm. He served in the Army, Army Reserve and National Guard from 1955 to 1962. Gary farmed continuously and raised cattle as his primary profession from 1959 until 2012. Gary was a partial owner of THB Earthmovers with partners Jerry Turner and Edgar Barrett from 1980-1990. Gary also worked part time for Irwin and Potter Drug Company delivering medication to people in Wakita, OK, Attica and Harper, Kansas until retiring in 2020. This job meant so much to him and he enjoyed his co-workers and clients. His memory was sharp as a tack, and he always remembered all the names and addresses he delivered to.
Gary served on the following committees for many years: Farm Bureau, Kansas Wheat Growers, Kansas Livestock Association and was on the Anthony Farmers Cooperative Elevator Board. He enjoyed traveling with these organizations and often reminisced about the many trips.
Gary loved softball and played both fast and slow pitch, in which he earned the nickname Ace. He played fast pitch softball from 1952-1967 and slow pitch off and on from 1967 until he was 45. He also enjoyed the early years playing Town Team Basketball from 1957-1968 and bowled on a league for several years. He used to never miss Chaparral Football and Basketball games, until his knees didn’t allow him to climb the bleacher stands. He enjoyed watching football, basketball, baseball, and softball games on television.
Gary always liked to travel and took many trips over the years with Joan, Donnie, and Diane as well as other family and friends. He loved traveling by Amtrak Trains and didn’t care much for flying or being on the water. Some of his other treasured favorites were watching classical westerns, World War II shows, crime shows and sports, especially with his family.
Gary enjoyed spending time throughout the years catching up with his friends on a routine basis at McDonald’s and Shepherd’s. He also traveled to see his sister very frequently to eat ice cream at Braum’s, then on to his daughter’s house for a home cooked meal.
Gary loved spending time with all of his family. He rarely missed a school event of his grandchildren. He had a special way with family, showing much attention, patience, and love. Survivors include his daughter, Diane Bacon and husband, Kenny of Caldwell, KS and their son, Kody Bacon; Donnie’s children: Jake Henderson and wife, Caitlin, and their children: Grady, Porter, and Finley; Kalee Adams and husband, Ed, and their children: Ryder, Bryler, Hayslee, and Kyzer; and Casey Henderson and wife, Rae and their daughter, Wren. He will be missed by many other nieces, nephews, family, and friends.
Funeral service was held 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2022 at the Christian Church in Anthony, Kansas with Pastor Ron Eden officiating. Youtube video “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant was played. Musical selections with the slideshow of Gary’s life were “Go Rest High on That Mountain” by Vince Gill, “Amarillo Sky” by Jason Aldean, and “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton.
Honorary casket bearers were Ken Carothers, Gene Carothers, Dennis Perry, Jerry Podschun, Yogi Hubbard, Kenny Clark, Dan Cashier, Danny Moore, Terry Drosselmeyer, Ray Whitaker, Jimmy Vardy, and Richard Henderson. A private inurnment will be held at Forest Park Cemetery in Anthony.
Memorials in memory of Gary may be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities, as Gary loved McDonald’s and this organization has helped his grandchildren many times, and may be sent in care of Prairie Rose Funeral Home, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003.