Surrounded by her loving family, Joan Henderson peacefully passed away on December 17, 2017. She truly was the matriarch of the family . . . a source of strength and a role model for all of us.
With her quick mind and unfailing memory, she never missed a birthday, anniversary, school activity or sporting event. She was deeply loved and will be dearly missed.
Joan was born in Cherokee, Oklahoma, on November 28, 1925, to Leo and Mildred Ford. Growing up with her four brothers and sisters, she excelled in school and made many lifelong friends.
She graduated valedictorian of Cherokee High School in 1943. Upon graduation, she married her school sweetheart, Lloyd Henderson.
After a brief stint in Montana following World War II, Joan and Lloyd made their home back in Cherokee, where they would raise their three children - Sandy, Dennis and Linda.
In addition to being a wonderful mother, she worked at the Alfalfa County Draft Office, Farmer's Exchange Bank and Alfalfa County Treasurer's Office.
After they retired, Lloyd and Joan became even busier . . . spending their time helping others and their community through multiple mission trips and church projects. She was a person of unfailing generosity and would do anything for anyone.
She loved sporting events and never missed a single game. Of anything. She particularly loved cheering on the Oklahoma State Cowboys and Thunder.
Joan read multiple newspapers cover to cover daily and kept informed on all things. Always willing to take on a challenge, she conquered the use of the cell phone, joined Facebook and loved staying in touch with nieces, nephews and grandchildren via text.
In 2008, Joan and Lloyd moved to Ponca City to be closer to their family. Family was incredibly important to Joan. If you were fortunate enough to be a part of hers, you knew that.
To her many nieces and nephews, she was a family historian sharing stories with them of their own parents. To her grandchildren, she meant the world. From home remodels to cooking and sewing projects, she was always there to lend a hand.
She accepted and loved their spouses as one of her own, and they will miss her as much as anyone. She delighted in her great-grandchildren, and she never let them forget how important they were to her.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 71 years, Lloyd Henderson; brother, William Ford; brother, Melvin "Bud" Ford; sister, Pat Watt; sister, Kate Martin; and son-in-law, Sid Hartman.
She is survived by her daughter, Sandy Hartman; son, Dennis Henderson and his wife, Bridget; daughter, Linda Palmer and her husband, Mark; granddaughter, Julee Owen and her husband, Keith; granddaughter, Marna Favor and her husband, Rod; granddaughter, Shelly Hartman; granddaughter, Lori Hampton; grandson, Drew Palmer and his wife, Vanessa; granddaughter, Carrie Sparling and her husband, Jeff; six great-grandchildren, Chloe Hilger and her husband, Cory; Tristin Hampton; Ben Palmer; Kate Sparling; Corley Palmer; and Charlotte Sparling; three great-grandchildren, Hadley, Maddux and Marshall Hilger; and brother-in-law, Dick Watt; as well as an extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Joan lived a meaningful life. In doing so, she taught us all many lessons. She meant so much to so many and asked for very little in return. In the end, she faced her death with the quiet strength, dignity and grace that punctuated her entire life. She comforted those who loved her until the very end.
Funeral service will be held 1 p.m. December 30, 2017, at the First United Methodist Church in Cherokee, Oklahoma.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 400 South Grand, Cherokee OK 73728.
Published on December 19, 2017