Obituary of Sally Matt Henderson
Sally M. Shepherd Henderson
After many years as a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Sally Henderson has peacefully passed on to the heavenly realm. Sally Matt Shepherd was born at home on September 16, 1931, in Gholson, Mississippi, the fifth of twelve siblings. Four of her siblings survive her: Madge Fields, Kline Shepherd, Jean Bynum and Faye Coleman.
Sally grew up on a rural farm without electricity or indoor plumbing and was well-acquainted with the farm work and household chores needed to keep the family going. She loved to tell the story of her dad coming home from the woods with honeycomb produced by wild bees. Her mom would whip up batches of biscuits and everyone would gather around and eat until their bellies were bursting. Sally attended schools in the Kemper County area and graduated from DeKalb High School, DeKalb, Mississippi in May 1948. She attended East Mississippi Junior College, Scooba, Mississippi, graduating with an Associate of Arts Degree in August 1950.
Sally married Harold C Henderson of Harrod, Ohio in August 1952. They were blessed to spend almost 70 years together before his passing in May 2022. She is survived by her, daughter Anne Patrice Burgess, her husband Ken Burgess and their two children Bradley and Kelly of Boise, ID. She also leaves two sons in Colorado Springs and their families: Royce Henderson and his three sons Justin, Ryan, and Tyler (Ali) and Martin Henderson and his wife Susan and their two children, Ingrid (Joel) and Luke (Sydney). Sally also leaves 8 great grandchildren: great granddaughters Reis and Eliot and great grandsons Miciah, Cion, Anjel, Elijah, Hayes and Dillon.
Sally was a faithful wife of an ordained United Church of Christ minister and supported Harold as he served as a pastor of a number of local congregations and as a Chaplain in the United States Air Force (USAF). She accepted relocating to a new city/state/country every few years as Harold would be called to new congregations or a new assignment with the USAF. The Henderson family lived in several stateside locations including Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Idaho. They also served at overseas locations in Italy and Australia.
These transitions made it difficult for Sally to have continuity with a vocation, though there were plenty of other responsibilities, hobbies, volunteer positions and temporary jobs to keep her busy. She put her family first through all these transitions. Sally’s bookkeeping skills served her well and allowed her to take on temporary secretary and bookkeeping jobs in several different locations during Harold’s career. The extra money was very helpful as Harold’s minister pay wasn’t always enough to take care of the family.
Sally volunteered in a variety of roles from church positions, helping at local schools and volunteering with the Mountain Home Visitor’s Center. She was able to adapt to many different situations and cultures. Her southern accent always opened doors for her and sometimes people just wanted to hear her speak.
Sally loved to cook and truly had the gift of hospitality. Many a young airman, neighbor or friend enjoyed a meal she prepared. She was able to adapt her cooking to fit the kitchen and supplies available. From cooking in a tiny kitchen in Aviano Italy, on camp stoves during extended camping trips, to a mobile home in the outback of Australia, she was always able to produce a tasty economical meal. In her later years, she started writing down her recipes in a spiral notebook. We were able to scan those recipes and produce cookbooks of her recipes for family members so that her recipes will live on.
To Sally, breakfast was an important meal of the day and often included eggs, sausage, grits and her wonderful homemade biscuits. It was not unusual to hear a knock on the bedroom door and encouraging words to get up right now to eat breakfast!
Over the course of her life and travels, she was able to learn many skills including sewing, knitting, quilting, playing the piano and oil painting. She made clothes for herself and many family members, including maternity clothes for her daughters-in-law. Sally also knitted items for church bazaars and knit beanie hats for military personnel. We cherish the paintings, baby blankets and quilts that now remind us of her skills and love for us.
Sally loved board games and dominos and was a fierce competitor. We all share a memory of her chuckle as she bested us and won the game. She was patient at teaching us new games but showed no mercy about letting us win!
A celebration of life service will be held on July 15, 2023, at 11:00AM at The First Congregational Church (UCC), 515 E 15th N, Mountain Home, Idaho. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The First Congregational Church (UCC), P.O. Box 659, Mountain Home, ID 83647-0659.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sally Henderson, please visit Tribute Store