James H. Henderson, 86, passed away peacefully in the afternoon of March 15th with family, several from out of state, at his side. He was born in Pittsburgh PA to James (II) and Eleanor Henderson. There will be public calling hours following private family service at Funeraria Del Angel Martin Central on Thursday from 5-9pm. A Rosary service will be celebrated at 7pm the same evening. The funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Raphael's Catholic Church at 12:15pm Friday with burial to follow at Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors. After graduation from Dormont High School, Jim served his country by joining the Army
. After two years of service, he tried his hand at farming for a year and nearly starved. He returned to the Army where he rose to the rank of Sergeant Major. His brigade is credited with developing the first guided missile systems and he was a specialist in missile engine systems. He received numerous commendations for his service of 26 years. The critical early career decision to remain in the Army laid trail for his fruitful and bountiful life to follow. During his time in the service Jim met his sweetheart, Lila. After a brief courtship they wed in 1963. They set about balancing the building of a family and the heavy demands of service life. A final service stint in Germany for the three years after the arrival of their second child in 1967 caused Jim to settle and he did so at Ft. Bliss where he was honorably discharged in 1973. Returning to the entrepreneurial seed of farming many years earlier, but with the benefit of years of wisdom and sense of self, he immediately began an apprenticeship for real estate sales with protÃ©gÃ© Bill Walker. He proved to be an astute and determined student and rapidly moved to earn his Broker's license. He capitalized on the rapid rise of both Century 21 and the greater El Paso area. Jim settled in a modest home in 1975 where he lived until shortly before his passing. In this home he cared for his aging mother faithfully as he always promised he would until her death. Jim and Lila divorced in 1976 but he remained in this home and continued to raise both children balancing work, elderly and child care duties. Years later Jim and Lila (Brockman) settled past differences becoming close friends to the benefit of the entire family. Jim was tragically predeceased by his son James D. Henderson(Yvette), in 1989. Surviving him is his daughter Carrie Lynn Martin (William) of Swedesboro, NJ. A sister, Louise Del Percio(Ray) of Pittsburgh, PA also survives him. Also surviving are his grandchildren; James D. Henderson Jr.(Samantha), Sahara Murga(Steve), Bradley, Jacob and Rylie Martin. His very close nephew Ray (Jr.) Del Percio survives him as well. Jim was also blessed to have had two great grandchildren, Kaleo and Sarenay Murga. Though Jim never remarried, Lupe Martinez was his closest friend for the 25 years till his passing. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to remember Jim may make a donation to the Society of St. Vincent De Paul or one of the many Alzheimer's organizations to which Jim also generously gifted.