Frances Elaine (Dorr) Henderson of Endwell, the only child of Margaret Vance Fisk and Merlon Emery Dorr, was born on September 17, 1922 in Endicott, New York. She grew up in Endicott where she graduated from Union Endicott High School. In 1943 she graduated from the University of Maine, where she studied history. She was the first woman, and one of the first members of her extended family, to graduate from college. She received her MS in Education from SUNY, Cortland in 1957. On March 4, 1944 in Orono, Maine she married John William Henderson of Atlanta Georgia. They had two sons, and after they divorced in 1948 she raised them with the help of her parents. She had a great respect for education. She put both sons through college and saw one earn a Ph.D. As soon as her grandchildren were born, she began saving to help with their education, to which she made substantial contributions. She loved to travel, beginning with very happily remembered summers spent with her grandparents in Maine. Every summer she would travel with her sons, first to Maine, and then more broadly, eventually visiting most of the continental United States and Canada. She also traveled extensively to other countries, including Greece, Ireland, Scotland, England, Austria, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, China, Australia, New Zealand, and several countries in Africa. She visited Malaysia when her son John and daughter-in-law Rose were living there, and drove through Europe for several weeks after taking delivery of her son Michael’s Alpha Romeo in Italy. She went on canoeing and sailing trips, and enjoyed visits to her sons and granddaughters. She took her granddaughter Ryan to Ireland and Scotland, and her granddaughter Leigh to Greece and the Greek islands for their high school graduation presents. For about twenty years she was a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels. She loved to drive, and always drove on family vacations, no matter how far. For over thirty-five years beginning in the late 1960s she was an enthusiastic folk dancer, first at SUNY, Binghamton, and later at Roberson Center and the American Civic Association. She was on the Civic Association and Scottish demonstration teams and served several times on the Roberson Board of Governors. She taught elementary school, chiefly fourth grade, first at Saint James School in Johnson City for three years, and then in Maine-Endwell Public Schools for 25 years through her retirement in June 1982. She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association. She was a charter member of Christ the King Church in Endwell. She cared for her mother during her long decline from Alzheimer’s disease. She was predeceased by a granddaughter, Tracy Henderson. She is survived by son Michael, daughter-in-law Louise Kirby, son John, daughter-in-law Rose, granddaughters Leigh Henderson and Ryan Pilat and Ryan’s husband Jon, great-grandsons Nathan and Samuel Pilat, and many cousins and friends.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Monday at 10:30 am at St. Ambrose Church, 203 Washington Avenue, Endicott. The Family will receive friends at church Monday from 9 to 10:15 am. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.