Date Of BirthMay-12-1927
Date of deathJan-16-2019
Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 26, 2019, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Interment to follow at Blackberry Cemetery.
Claude E. Henderson, age 91, of Elburn, IL, passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. Claude was born in Little Falls, MN, on May 12, 1927, to proud parents, George and Geneva Henderson. Being the youngest of four brothers, Claude was given the lifelong nickname “Babe.” At an early age, Claude’s family moved to Elburn, IL, where he attended local schools. Right after high school, he met Doris Rhodes, who was the new girl in town, and it was love at first sight. In 1945, Claude graduated from high school and went to serve his country in the United States Army. During his time in the Army, Claude served for one year as a private in World War II, where he was stationed in Germany. He wrote letters to Doris while he was away. Upon his return, Claude and Doris were united in marriage on December 6, 1947. Immediately following their nuptials, Claude set to work building their first home, the “log cabin” on West Pierce Street. They lived there for over 20 years. Claude then went on to build a home for his family on Willow Street in Elburn, where he lived up until his passing. For two years, Claude spent weekends and vacations building this beautiful home for his family. In 1951, their family started to grow with the birth of their first son, Regan. They had three other children, Sue, Kathy, and Ron, who completed their family. Claude was a very hard worker since his early years, holding odd jobs around Elburn. After his return from the Army, Claude worked on the railroad for 20 years as a section foreman for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. After working on the railroad, he became a Union official and started working in the Chicago office. He later became the Assistant to the President of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees, and was in charge of the office. Again showing his dedicated work ethic, he put in many long hours in both of these jobs to provide for his family. He was a dedicated member of the Elburn American Legion and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees. Even at home you found Claude working hard, from building his houses from the ground up, to making furniture to fill the homes he built. Not only was Claude a very intelligent man, but was very skilled in working with his hands. Claude was adept at wood crafting and gardening. Claude loved gardening and grew enormous vegetable gardens. He started this as a young man and continued this until he was in his late 80s. He was self-sufficient and believed in doing everything for himself. During his spare time, Claude packed up Doris and the kids to make their annual summer trip to Stocking Lake in Minnesota. In the tradition of the Henderson Family, Claude was an avid fisherman and spent hours on the lake. This was a lifelong love, not only for Claude, but also for his sons and for his father. Claude loved music, especially polka music. He played the accordion and was a great dancer. Claude and Doris also had many fun parties in their basement, where their friends gathered to dance and socialize. In his later years, watching the “Polka Party,” was one of his favorite activities. Claude dearly loved his family and was always there to take care of them, from being an excellent provider for his wife and children, to taking lifelong guardianship of his brother, Clive. At times, he may have seemed like a man of few words, but on the inside, he was a soft-hearted, loving man, who would do anything for anybody. In turn, he greatly appreciated all actions of kindness that were directed his way. When his eight grandchildren were welcomed into the world, Claude found a new light in his life. He was a beloved grandpa and in turn, loved his grandchildren with all his heart. Claude will always be remembered and never forgotten. During his last years, Claude participated in the World War II Honor flight and flew to Washington, D.C. This Veteran’s Day, he was honored at Washington Middle School, where one of his daughters teaches. He was treated like a celebrity in both instances, and he was so happy on both of these occasions. Claude is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Doris Henderson; three children: Sue (Scott) Novak, Kathy Henderson Cone, and Ron Henderson; eight grandchildren: Brian Henderson, Zach and Max Novak, Ian and Sean Henderson, Evelyn (Brett) Landers, Francie and Eve Cone; three great-grandchildren: Stuart and Chloe Henderson, and Aaron Landers; as well as nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, George (Metta) Henderson and Geneva Henderson; his son, Regan Henderson; three brothers: Gerald, Stanley, and Clive Henderson. Visitation will be from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with a funeral service to follow at 1 p.m., Saturday, January 26, 2019, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. Interment to follow at Blackberry Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Claude’s name may be made to the Elburn American Legion, Post #630, 112 N Main St., Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to Conley Funeral Home, PO Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119, the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or www.conleycare.com.