James Richard Henderson, "Tuffy", was born March 4th 1943 to John and Cecilia Henderson of Wilmington, DE. He attended St. Hedwig's Grade School where he studied Polish, played accordion, and was an altar boy. He graduated from Salesianum High School and joined the Navy where he served on the U.S.S. Nitro and the U.S.S. Mississinewa on numerous Mediterranean tours of duty. He received the National Defense Service Medal. He brought back many gifts and souvenirs from his travels, including mantillas and rosaries from Italy, castanets from Spain, and sculptures from Greece. Thus, he inspired the family to pursue their own adventures afar. Everyone, especially our mother, was so happy to see him and we all shouted raucously when he came home with his big duffel bag.
After receiving an honorable discharge form the Navy, he attended the University of Delaware and received his Bachelor's in Horticulture. He then moved to New Jersey to manage a landscaping and greenhouse business. He returned home to Delaware to work at Chrysler Automotive as a master electrician specializing in robotics. All of his coworkers at United Autoworkers referred to him affectionately as "Jimbo".
Jimmy loved collecting from a young age: stamps, antiques, majolica pottery, piano sheet music. A generous, kind, and sensitive soul, he always had a warm smile and many said he looked like Paul Newman because of his shining blue eyes and handsome demeanor. Jim was selfless and would given the shirt off his back for friends and family. He was nicknamed "Tuffy" as a kid because growing up in Browntown he was tough and built strong. He enjoyed farming and had two tractors and several farm animals.
Jim is predeceased by his mother and father, John and Cecilia (Dobrzynska), sister Elizabeth M. Henderson, all of Wilmington, DE and girlfriend Violet Lee. He is survived by brothers and sisters John (Patricia) of Landenberg, PA,; Ann (Ramesh) Shankar of Charlotte, NC; Peter (Delores )of Newark, DE; Mary Barrish of Newark, DE; Cecilia (Dave) Delpercio of Wilmington, DE; and Joseph (Jeff) of Swarthmore, PA.
We wish to thank the family of Violet Lee for their affectionate care of Jimmy before his passing.
The family invite you to funeral services on Friday October 12th at St. Hedwigs Church, 408 S. Harrison St. Wilmington, DE 19805. Visitation will be held from 10a.m. to 11a.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517.