Eugene Lloyd “Gene” Henderson, age 95, passed away peacefully on November 16, 2019, in Hamilton, Montana, of natural causes. He was born on October 3, 1924 in Tulare, South Dakota.
Gene’s family moved from the family farm during the Dust Bowl Days and The Great Depression. He shared memories of the hardships on the farm. The family came to the Bitterroot Valley because great-grandpa Henderson was here. They worked in the woods, driving teams to skid the logs. Gene had a lifelong love of the big horses and teams because of what he learned during those years with his dad and Granddad.
At 18, in 1942, Gene joined the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Mammoth, New Jersey during his basic training. From there he was on a troopship for England, then on to Normandy via Omaha Beach. Gene told stories of being in the second wave on Omaha Beach. After the war, Gene came home to return to working in the woods with Granddad, until he was hired at the sawmill.
Gene met Mary Scheffel, his lifetime love, at a dance. They married on January 8, 1952 and were married for 57 years. Their first home was a remodeled chicken coop! From this marriage a son, Alan Eugene, and a daughter, Connie Jo, was born two years later and the family was complete. Gene continued to work at the sawmill until 1965, then as a veteran, he had a Civil Service appointment in Darby. Gene retired from the post office in 1988.
Throughout the years in Darby, Gene built up his lifetime dream on a small ranch on the Bitterroot River, outside of Darby. Gene and Mary worked hard with a large garden, milk cows, pigs and a small herd of beef cattle. He enjoyed cutting hay for the cows. Gene and Mary always enjoyed dancing and were a part of “The Golden Years” for many years. They had wonderful health into their 90’s.
Gene is survived by his son, Alan (Harriet) Henderson; daughter, Connie (TJ) Silveira; sisters, Alberta Henderson and Sandy Scheffel; grandchildren, Ben Scott and Abe Henderson; great-grandchildren, Caleb, Eden, Jonah and Izaiah Scott and Elliot Henderson; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A viewing will be held at Daly-Leach Chapel from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25, 2019. Graveside services with full Military Honors will be held at 12:00 p.m. at the Lone Pine Cemetery in Darby. The family suggest any memorials be made to the American Legion Post 47, 322 S. 2nd, Hamilton, MT, or Marcus-Daly Hospice Center, 1200 Westwood Dr., Hamilton, MT. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com.
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