Tommy L. “T.L.” Henderson, beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away at age 76 on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019, in his son’s home in Austin, Texas, surrounded by his family and his dog.
T.L. was born on Aug. 16, 1943, in Leon, Iowa, and was raised in the Clearfield and Lenox area where the Hendersons have farmed for five generations. Tom was baptized and was active in the United Presbyterian Church of Lenox. He excelled at baseball, basketball, football and 4-H where he enjoyed showing livestock and being on championship state and national livestock judging teams. Tom graduated from Lenox High School in 1962 and continued his education at Iowa State University where he earned a bachelor of science degree in animal science in 1967.
Tom and Cheryl J. Rickers were married on Nov. 24, 1968, and raised two sons, Ty Thomas and Cole Thomas now both residing and working in Austin, Texas.
Tom loved music and his country. He was a member of Iowa State Singers and Men’s Glee Club. He also sang with Der Liederkranz, a German barbershop chorus, and numerous church choirs. He particularly enjoyed singing the “Common Doxology” before meals, singing “God Bless America” at Rotary meetings, Christmas caroling with the Henderson sleigh bells, and entertaining his family on long road trips before the invasion of personal electronic devices.
After a 40-year professional career in agricultural lending with Iowa and Colorado banks, T.L. and Cheryl retired in 2014 to country living in Burnet, Texas, where Tom loved tending to the property and working outdoors with cattle and his horse. Burnet was just close enough to families in Austin to enjoy abundant time together.
Seldom seen without boots and a cowboy hat, T.L. was a Christian man who never met a stranger. Within a few minutes of meeting someone, he was engaged in conversation about agriculture, history or education. Because of this interest in people and service, community involvement was a mainstay in Tom’s life. As with all other communities in which he had lived, he quickly assimilated into life in Texas. He was a member of Rotary, the ROMEOS (Real Old Men Eating Out, a First Baptist Church men’s group), Burnet County Historical Commission, City of Burnet Historic Board, and Burnet County Heritage Society.
T.L. is survived by his wife of 50 years, Cheryl J. Henderson of Burnet, Texas; two sons and four grandchildren: Ty and Kate, Evan Porter (14) and Ellis Andrew (10) of Austin, Texas; Cole and Kristen, Lenox James (3) and Estel MaeJean (1) of Austin, Texas; a sister, Judy Henderson Teig of Norwalk, Iowa; a brother, Bill Henderson of Clearfield, Iowa, and his “baby” sister, O. Kay Henderson of Des Moines, Iowa. He was preceded in death by his parents: Guy Porter Henderson and Mary Louise Arneal, both lifelong residents of Clearfield and Lenox, Iowa.
A Memorial Service will be held at First Baptist Church in Burnet, Texas on Saturday, November 16 at 10:00 AM with Pastor Doug Lindley presiding. Burial will be in Lenox, Iowa at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Hill Country Community Foundation, PO Box 848, 403 E. Jackson, Burnet, Texas 78611 on behalf of Burnet Rotary Scholarships.
Tom loved God, his family, his Scottish heritage and animals — especially horses and dogs. He often told his sons to “be productive citizens” and “be as good as your dog thinks you are.”
Condolences may be offered to www.clementswilcoxburnet.com.
Arrangements entrusted to Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home Burnet, Texas.