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Lee Henson, Nov. 11, 1940 - Aug. 24, 2013

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 | 10:55 p.m. CDT; updated 11:59 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Albert Lee Henson III, known to all as Lee, passed away Saturday, August 24, 2013 at the Neighborhoods in Columbia, Missouri.  

There will be a gathering in Lee’s honor on Tuesday, September 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union on the campus of the University of Missouri.

Lee was born November 11, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan to Albert Lee Henson Jr. and Elizabeth Spray Henson, both of whom predeceased him. He grew up in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Lyons Township High School in 1958 and got his bachelor’s degree in English from Brown University in 1962. In 1967, Lee married Maggie Billings, and together they would have four children. In 1974, Lee earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Lee and Maggie lived for many years in Kansas City where Lee worked as a Civil Rights Negotiator for the Federal Government. In 1986, Lee became paralyzed from the chest down in a bicycle accident.  Lee and his family relocated to Columbia in 1990 to start a new life. Lee led Services for Independent Living for three years before joining the University of Missouri, where for 20 years he strove to create a campus that was accessible to all regardless of disability.  His work touched countless lives and left the MU Campus a better place for all to study and work.  

He also served as a member of the Columbia Disabilities Commission, Columbia Northwest Rotary, Columbia Comprehensive Plan Task Force and the Columbia Vision Commission. He was also a member of the Missouri and American Bar Associations and the Association of Missouri Mediators.

Lee is survived by his wife of 46 years, Maggie, his children, Alex Henson (Liza Teodoro) of Richmond, VA, Kathy Gehrig (Paul) of Issaquah, WA, Nick and Carey Henson both of Columbia, MO.  

Lee took great joy in his granddaughters, Marcy and Erin Gehrig of Issaquah, Washington, Amelia and Anna Kate Henson of Richmond, Virginia, and Kallie Henson of Columbia, Mo who will miss their Granddaddy and Pa Pa very much.  Lee is also survived by his brother Judd Henson (Melanie) of St. Petersburg, FL, sister-in-law Amy Montebello (Andy) of Strafford, MO, brother-in-law James Billings (Judy) of Springfield, MO, niece Katie Montebello of Springfield, MO and countless other friends, relatives, former student aides, and co-workers.   

Lee was a warm, generous, humorous man who was never without a kind word or a joke for anyone.  He was an avid Missouri Tiger fan and could be found cheering his beloved Tigers on at every home football and basketball game for many years.  

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Lee Henson Scholarship Fund in care of the MU Student Veterans Center.   

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.parkerfuneralservice.com.

It’s often been said, but in Lee’s case it was true: To know him, truly was to love and be loved by him.  


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