Thomas Henderson

Thomas William Henderson, age 71, passed away on February 15, 2013 from Multiple System Atrophy at his home in Palo Alto, surrounded by family and friends. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Susan Jelavich Henderson, his childhood sweetheart, daughter Karen Gilmour (John), and sons Rob, and Scott Henderson (Jill). He was the brother of Jack Henderson (Nancy) of Lincoln, CA and Jane Bartolucci of San Rafael, CA. He was the brother-in law of Barbara Watts (Bill). Tom was the grandfather of Lynn, Matthew, and Lauren Gilmour, and Sophia, Mary, Grace, Laynie, Avery and Bryson Henderson.
Tom, the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. E.W. Henderson, was raised in Alameda and attended Alameda High School where he played Varsity Football and Basketball and was President of the Student Body. He also attended the University of Washington and went on to graduate from Cal State Hayward in 1964 with a BS in Economics. Tom was a successful independent insurance broker for 44 years. Tom treated his clients like they were family. Everyone was important to him. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, uncle, friend, and neighbor.
Tom had a passion for sports, whether it was watching, playing or coaching. He especially loved tennis and playing with his friends at the University Club. Most of all he loved his family. He led a truly wonderful life, appreciating every day to the fullest and never wavering from his greatest priority of caring, providing, and having fun with his family and friends.
Susan and the family will be forever grateful to Dr. Yumi Ando, Dr. Gary Pasternak, and Dr. Benjamin Flores for the excellent care and support given to Tom. A special thanks also goes to Tom's caregivers, Jun Oben and Herminia Herrera.
A celebration of Tom's life will be held at the First Congregational Church of Palo Alto (1985 Louis Rd, Palo Alto, CA) on Saturday, March 2nd at 11:00 AM with a reception following at the University Club of Palo Alto from 1:00 to 3:00 (3277 Miranda Ave, Palo Alto, CA).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fiat Lux Foundation, 1805 El Camino Real Suite 100, Palo Alto, CA 94036 ( or Mission Hospice and Home Care, 1670 South Amphlett Blvd. Suite 300, San Mateo, CA 94402 (
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 24, 2013