Ronald Eugene Henderson was born on April 18, 1935 to Leo (Blackie) and Ruth (Houghtaling) Henderson of Foxhome, Minnesota. He grew up in Foxhome and Vergas where he attended school. He enlisted in the United States Army at age 17 when his mother signed permission for Ron to join the Army before age 18. He served in Company A 31st Engineers BN in Fort Carson, Colorado. He went to The Engineer School at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He worked as a Combat Construction Specialist and earned his GED while in the Army. He served for three years and was honorably discharged in 1956. He was married to Norma Jensen on December 14, 1957. He attended some college at Moorhead State Teachers’ College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He and his wife raised coon dogs which often annoyed the neighbors. His brother-in-law, Alvin Mohs, his sister, Leatrice Mohs, his wife and he build the raft, “The AlRonNorLea” which would serve for many family fishing adventures at his home on South Turtle Lake. He worked many years of construction with his brother, Pug for Arcon Construction of Mora, Minnesota. His wife and three children would travel with him throughout the summers, camping in various parks, seeing much of Minnesota. In the 1970's, Ron worked for Metro Meats in Fergus Falls, Minnesota where he met Elton Johnson. It was through this friendship that horses would become an important part of Ron's family's lives. In 1978, his good friend, Donnie Bruhn suggested that he come to Crossroads in Fargo, North Dakota because they had something for him. On March 18, 1978, Ron's mother's birthday, he entered treatment. His mother told him that was the best birthday present she ever received, and that God had answered her prayers. On March 18, 2019, he celebrated 41 years of recovery. He attended many Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with his friend, Ron Thiel and many others throughout his early years in the program and continued to attend regular meetings throughout his 41 years of recovery. He often said, "God knew I was going to need help so that's why Alcoholics Anonymous was formed in 1935." Then he'd laugh. He helped many people over the years that struggle with addiction. He worked for PCI for the remainder of his career as the supervisor for the bridge crews in Kansas. He farmed with his son, Timothy for many years while also working construction. He retired in 1997 because traveling from Underwood to Kansas became too wearing. When he retired, he bought a house in Underwood and moved from the farm. When he enjoyed listening to old country music, he and Kari would try to guess the artist first. He always looked forward to Viking football Sundays when Bob and Laurie cooked dinner and dessert for Ron and his friends, Ron Shebeck and Bruce Hanstad. There was always intelligent conversations and many laughs.
In his lifetime, he enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing cards, snowmobiling, hunting, playing horseshoes, but most of all he enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. He loved to laugh. He had been an active member of the American Legion and had served many years on the firing squad. He had been supportive of his children in the Underwood 4-H and other events of his children. He was a co-founder of Dusty Trail Riders so that his children and the local horse community could have a local horse club.
On July 16, 2019, he died peacefully in his home while listening to the Bible as his daughter, Laurie sat by his side.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brothers Robert Shannon and Weldon (Pug) Henderson, brothers-in-law, Alvin Mohs and Robert Lee, nephews, James Lee and Jeff Henderson and great-nephew Paul Henderson. He is survived by his daughters, Kari Henderson Reed (Arlen Aas), Laurie (Robert) Kessler and son, Timothy (Cammy) Henderson; Grandchildren, Joshua Lake, Michael (Julie) Lake, Timothy Lake, Anna (Kevin) Wind, Katharine (Eric) Katzenmeyer and Matthew (Mandalyn Nicklaus) Reed; Great-grandchildren, Isabel, Claire and Sydney Katzenmeyer, Liam, Eli, Harrison and Whittaker Wind, Marty Reed and Brooklyn Lake. Sisters, Joyce Lee and Leatrice Mohs, brother Fibber (Joan) Henderson and sister-in-law Ruby Henderson. He has many cousins, nephews and nieces and even more friends. He will be greatly missed by many.
Visitation: 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Friday, August 2, with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service on Saturday.
Memorial Service: 11:00 AM Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home, Fergus Falls, MN
Clergy: Pastor Robert Kessler
Interment: Sunset Memorial Cemetery, Underwood, MN
Online guestbook: www.GlendeNilson.com