Obituaries & Tributes

Gary Henderson

At age 68, Gary Henderson left us much too soon on February 20, 2020. He lived an amazing life as you will read.

Gary was a native Oregonian, born July 1951 in Albany, growing up in Springfield, the youngest child of four. “Twiggy” played high school basketball and was a drummer in the school band. He loved being a Thurston Colt and made many dear friends which he kept all of his life.

Gary attended LCC in Eugene and began his love of radio announcing. He was declared ineligible for military service, but was always respectful of those who served and was quick to thank them for their service. He worked one summer each at both Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks. He decided to embark on a new venture and moved to Florida. He was introduced to his wife by her brother Mike and they married three months later and began a life together of over four decades. He earned his AA and BA degrees all while working full time.

Gary was gifted with a golden voice and was a natural speaker. He was the first Spring Training announcer for the Florida Marlins and also announced for the Houston Astros, Brevard Manatees, and various high schools and colleges. He felt a great deal of pride to be part of the Space Shuttle program and loved to talk about his involvement. He became friends with several astronauts and was awarded both the Silver Snoopy and Space Flight Honoree.

Gary was a “hands-on” dad who loved his children fiercely and immersed himself in their lives.

After retiring, he moved west once again and loved being close to Yellowstone Park. He reconnected with another former employee and assisted with planning several reunions at YNP. He was fortunate to visit all but two of the United States — missing North Dakota and Hawaii.

Gary returned to the Willamette Valley for two short years. He lived close to his family to spend additional time with them. He ended his days in Spokane to be closer to his children and he was with them as he passed away.

Gary was a charmer and mentioned how he loved to make ladies smile at him. He was a gentleman who taught his son to respect women and his daughter the qualities to look for in a man. He wrote a novel which he loved to have others read.

Gary was predeceased by his parents William, Sr. and Irene Henderson. He is survived by his wife Mary Jane, daughter Brittany Seipert (Jeffrey), son Barrett (Monica), brothers William, Jr. (Sue), and Dean, sister Julie Sweet (Everett), brothers-in-law Michael Lowe (Shelley) and David Lowe (Maureen) and sister-in-law Sheila Tubbs, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

A Funeral Mass and burial was held in Florida on March 3. There will be a Celebration of Life at Lively Park in Springfield on July 25 at noon.

In lieu of flowers, and to remember Gary’s love of Yellowstone, donations may be made to Yellowstone Forever Association, P.O. Box 117, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190.

Rest easy, kind and gentle man. Until we are together again, you will be sorely missed and loved forever.



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