Glen Henderson

Obituary of Glen Earl Henderson

Glen Earl Henderson

Cottonwood, Arizona

February 14, 1938 – July 16, 2021

Glen Earl Henderson of Cottonwood, Arizona died on July 16th, 2021 from complications of pneumonia, Multiple Sclerosis, and a heart fully and unapologetically attached to his family and beloved, sun-basked Arizona. He was 83 years old. Glen was born on February 14, 1938 in Phoenix, AZ to Gladys Hortence “Nana” (McKelvy) and Ralph Henderson.  His childhood was spent in the Phoenix area, well before it boomed, so he always appreciated its cotton fields, ocotillo and Gila monsters. Glen graduated from Tolleson High School in 1955. He began college at the University of Arizona and transferred to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado where he earned a B.S. in Forestry Management in 1960. On April 21, 1962, he married Carolyn Mae McPherson in Denver, CO.  In their 59 years of marriage, they raised two daughters and a son, and designed and built a home and a mountain cabin together.  Glen forged a dedicated, 40-year career in the National Park Service. He began as a park ranger working at numerous national monuments and parks throughout the West (including Timpanogos Cave, Saguaro, Yellowstone, Crater Lake, Tonto), and eventually served as Park Superintendant from 1974-2002 at Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle National Monuments in the Verde Valley.   Glen’s leadership style was as a quiet, disciplined collaborator and problem solver, helping to conserve the parks and their cultural heritage for future generations.  For hobbies he enjoyed stone carving, jewelry making, fishing, and reading stacks of Louis L’Amour novels.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; daughter, Lori Henderson, and granddaughter, Melissa Merrill, all of  Cottonwood, AZ; son, Greg (Traci)  Henderson and grandson, Tyler Henderson of Chandler, AZ; daughter, Vicki (Craig) Henderson of Denver, IA; grandchild, Blair Henderson of Chicago, IL; and granddaughters, Greer Henderson of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany and Greta Henderson of Mount Vernon, IA; and one brother, George (Barbara) Henderson of Litchfield Park, AZ. Glen is predeceased by his parents and a sister, Joyce Brooks.

The family would like to thank Dr. John O’Connor, Glen’s neurologist for the last 20 years for his excellent care as well as Aviant Hospice, Angel’s Care Home Health, and his personal caregiver, Alex.

Memorial service will be held at a later date.  The family requests that memorial donations be made to Western National Parks Association, 12880 N. Vistoso Village Drive, Tucson, AZ 85755. 

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