John William "Jack" Henderson, 72, of 2973 Burton Road, Jamestown, N.Y., formerly of Falconer, N.Y., passed away at 5:50 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 1, 2012) in his home.
A lifelong area resident he was born Feb. 29, 1940, in Jamestown, N.Y. a son of the late John R. and Gladys Thelander Henderson.
Growing up in Falconer, he attended the North Side School from 1944-51 and attended Falconer Jr. High School from 1951-54.
John W. “Jack” Henderson
In 1954, his parents bought a farm on the Old Route 17 and he then attended Bemus Point Central School and graduated in June 1957. While living on the family farm he was active in the former Colburn CoEd's 4-H Club. During his years at Bemus Point School he played French horn and drums in the band and was accompanist for the choir, played drums for the Dixie Land Band and served as president of the Future Farmers of America chapter.
In September 1957, he entered Wilmington College in Wilmington, Ohio, majoring in agribusiness and working on area farms during the week. During the summer months he took classes at Jamestown Community College and worked at the Chautauqua Chemical Company. In September 1958 he entered Alfred Ag & Tech Institute, now Alfred State College, majoring in animal husbandry and was active with the choir and men's glee club. During his senior year at Alfred he was instrumental in the formation of the Key-notes Quartet.
In 1960, his father bought Chautauqua Plating Company in Falconer and following his graduation from Alfred went on to work full-time with his father. It was in 1960 that he joined the Bemus Point Volunteer Fire Department.
In 1962, he moved to Falconer and joined the Falconer Volunteer Fire Department, serving as president in 1976, and the Falconer Rotary Club, where he served as president from 1977-78 and was chairman of the Rotary Club chicken and biscuit dinner for 20 years. He was also captain of the Falconer Fire Department serving as captain of the hook-and-ladder company for nine years. In 1968, he was named "Falconer Young Man of the Year" by the Falconer Jaycees. He was also honored for serving on the Falconer Village Fire Advisory Board for 19 years and received a key to the village in 1999. Jack served as a member of the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board from 1976 to 1982 and a member of the Town of Ellicott Zoning Board of Appeals from 1972-76. In 1968 he bought a 150-acre farm on the Harris Hill Road where he raised his family and kept busy raising cows and horses, and began their involvement with 4-H horse activities with his daughters.
In October 1968, his father sold Chautauqua Plating and he began his career with SelRex Corporation of Nutley, N.J. as a technical sales representative covering Western New York and Pennsylvania. In 1972 he served as president of the Buffalo Branch of the American Electroplaters' Society. For a short time from 1996-2002, he was a partner in the Advanced Plating Technologies Corporation in Warren, Pa. In 1977, he became an independent manufacturing representative until his retirement due to ill health in January 2012.
In 1982, along with Dick Manning, Jack was a founding member of the Chautauqua County Hazardous Material Response Team, the first such team in Upstate New York. He served as team captain and hazmat coordinator from 1982 until he retired from the hazmat team in 2000. He was also a founding member of the HazWest, an organization comprised of hazmat team leaders in Western New York. Jack served on the hazmat committee of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs until 2012. He also served as an instructor and session moderator at the International Hazardous Materials Response Team Conference in Washington, D.C., where he gave a hazmat lecture at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs in 1996. Over the years Jack has been awarded the Ross Grange #305 Citizen of the Year, the Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow Award and the Chautauqua County Friend of 4-H Award. He also received the Rotary Club's "Four Avenues of Service Citation," the first member of the Falconer Rotary Club to receive such an award. In 2010, Jack was honored by having the hazmat bay in the County Fire Station 7 named after him. It is now called the "Henderson Bay." This honor was most meaningful to Jack.
Moving to Burton Road in 1992, he joined the Busti Fire Department serving as assistant chief from 2005-08 and chief from 2009-11.
He was an active member of the Wiltsie Community Church where he was chairman of the Missions Committee. He and his wife were former members of the Camp Street United Methodist Church for 48 years. He will be remembered for his love of Civil War history and his love of traveling with his friends and family in his RV.
Surviving are his wife of 50 years, the former Janet Gaiser whom he married Sept. 16, 1961; three daughters: Jody D. (Timothy) Murphy of Sumter, S.C., Jill D. Lehman of Fairfax, Va., and Julie D. (Christopher) Worley of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; five grandchildren: Jordan Lehman and Taylor Lehman both of Jamestown, Sean Murphy and Brendan Murphy both of Sumter, S.C., and Kaitlyn Worley of Cocoa Beach, Fla.; and his sister-in-law Ingrid Henderson of Fla.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Theodore Henderson who died in 2001.
The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Wiltsie Community Church, Russell, Pa. The Rev. Todd Venman, pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in the Sunset Hill Cemetery.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Lind Funeral Home where the Chautauqua County Fire Service will conduct a service at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday and the Koinonia Community will sing at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Wiltsie Community Church, Swede Road, Russell, PA 16345, Hospice Chautauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750 or to a fire department of your choice.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Jack at www.lindfuneralhome.com.