Cardula Henderson lived with compassion, love for others
COLUMBIA — Cardula Henderson was a universal mother, her son, Wayne Henderson, said. When Mrs. Henderson's husband or children brought unexpected guests back to the house, she would welcome them with a home-cooked meal.
“My mom always loved to have people drop by unannounced,” Wayne Henderson said. “For me, she was the model of unconditional love. She always found good in people and had a kind word.”
Cardula Marian (Gergen) Henderson died Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. She was 100.
Mrs. Henderson was born in Le Mars, Iowa, on Jan. 2, 1911, to John Nicholas and Aloysia Lucius Gergen.
In 1927 she moved to Gary, Ind., with her mother and four older brothers. There she graduated from Froebel High School in 1928.
She worked as a clerk and cashier until she married William Francis Henderson Jr. on July 22, 1934. They had three children, Arlyne Louise (Henderson) Miller, Wayne Francis Henderson and Lorrine Marie Henderson.
Mrs. Henderson moved to Madison, N.J., in 1981. She moved to Terrace Retirement Apartments in Columbia in 2000, and in 2008 she moved to South Hampton Place.
Mrs. Henderson's house was filled with the sounds of classical music, big band and her own piano playing, Wayne Henderson said. She was a compassionate and tolerant person with a strong sense of spirituality.
“She was a devout Catholic but believed there were many paths in life,” Wayne Henderson said. “She always taught me to be comfortable with following my own heart and my own instincts just as long as I believed in something bigger than myself.”
Mrs. Henderson kept track of friends throughout her life. When Lori Henderson moved her mother’s belongings out of South Hampton Place, she found a Catholic book of daily meditations.
“My mom had put holy cards that had the date of her friends’ deaths in between the pages of the book that matched that date,” Lori Henderson said. “Some of the pages had two or three cards in them from friends who had died 30 or 40 years ago.”
Mrs. Henderson was a humble person, and even in the final stages of her life she was gracious and thankful, Lori Henderson said.
“My mom never needed affirmation from other people for the good things she did,” Lori Henderson said.
Mrs. Henderson is survived by her children, Wayne Francis Henderson and his wife, Stacy, and Lorrine Marie Henderson and her husband, Ken Ogawa; a son-in-law, James Miller, a daughter-in-law, Bea (Bash) Henderson; five grandchildren, Reily, Kevin, Quin, Missy and Ben; and two great-granddaughters, Caleigh and Kate.
Her husband, William Francis Henderson Jr.; daughter, Arlyne Louise (Henderson) Miller; son-in-law, Quin O'Brien, and her brothers died earlier.
The family will hold a private service.
Tributes can be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com.