Willard Clark Henderson, 82, Rich Hill, died Nov. 24, 2004, at his residence following an illness of several months. He was born June 1, 1922, in Schell City to Edward James Henderson and Bessie L. Hizer Henderson. He was married Aug. 14, 1947, in Berryville, Ark., to LaVern Barker, and she survives of the home.
He grew up in Schell City, and went to Flat Rock School there. He finished his last two years of school in Nevada. He joined the U.S. Army on Nov. 11, 1942. He served in Europe during World War II. Among the medals he received was a bronze star, a silver star, as well as two purple hearts, the second of which was received when he was wounded while he was among the first to go through the wall in Breast, France. He went to California in 1952 where he lived and worked for 26 years before moving back to Rich Hill, in 1978. He was a welder and mechanic most of his working life. He owned and operated Henderson and Sons Garage in California with his three sons. Following his retirement, he went to work for Balk's Farm Implement in Vernon County.
Survivors in addition to his wife LaVern include nine children, Tom Durham, of Alta Loma, Calif., Linda Diebold, of Laverne, Calif., Donna Webb, of Rowland Heights, Calif., Eva Montague, of Glendora, Calif., Helen Thornburg, of Foster, Mo., Sadie Thomsen, of Kansas City, Mo., Edward Henderson, of Copper Cove, Texas, Bette Hendeson, of Victorville, Calif., and Gary Henderson, of Mesa, Ariz.; two sisters, Eula Koshko and Joyce Mengo of Schell City; 32 grandchildren; and 68 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada with John Nichols officiating. Interment will follow in Deerfield Cemetery. Friends may call from now until the hour of service and the family will receive friends from 7-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Those who wish may contribute to the Twin-Lakes Hospice of Butler in care of Ferry Funeral Home, 301 S. Washington, Nevada, MO 64772.