Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Michael Lee Carter Henderson

The Rev. Michael Lee Carter Henderson, 64, of Burlington, died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack at home on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2006. A retired Congregationalist minister of the United Church of Christ, he was born June 6, 1941, in Long Branch, N.J. He graduated from Milton Academy in 1959; from Yale College in 1963; and from Harvard Law School in 1966. He was admitted to the bar in the State of New York in 1967. He received a Rockefeller Fellowship to begin Harvard Divinity School, from which he graduated in 1974, receiving his S.T.B. While a student there, he served for one year as interim Dean of Students. He was ordained by the Metopolitan Boston Association of the UCC in 1974. Between 1972 and 1978, he served as Assistant Minister in Harvard University's Memorial Church. Since 1978, he and his wife, the Rev. Jane Geffken Henderson, also a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, have served together as co-pastors. They were cochaplains at Williams College from 1978 to 1981 and copastors of the Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC in Plymouth, N. H., from 1981 to 1990. Until their retirement in 2003, they served at the Exeter Congregational Church, UCC in Exeter, N.H. for 13 years. Aside from his responsibilities as a pastor, he held many leadership roles in the New Hampshire conference of the UCC. Since Jane and Michael's retirement, they have been living together in Burlington and spending summers along the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Michael enjoyed sailing, cooking, running, and kayaking. He was an avid reader and a consummate wordsmith. In addition to his beloved wife and partner in ministry, he is survived by three cherished daughters: Rachel Melchior Falls of Washington, D.C., and Mary Hannah Henderson of Amherst, Mass., both from a previous marriage; and Abigail Geffken Henderson of Sommerville, Mass. He is also survived by a grandson, Hezekiah Fleck Sims; and by brothers Terry Hunt of Missouri and Robert Hunt of Florida and their children. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at 2 p.m. in the College Street Congregational Church, 265 College Street, Burlington. Instead of flowers, those who wish to may send a donation in Michael's memory to the Brain Tumor Society; to the College Street Congregational Church; or to the Heifer Project International.

Published in the Burlington Free Press on January 31, 2006.

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